Modeling Human Mobility

March 16, 2010
Marta Gonzalez, Civil and Environmental Engineering

I present the results of statistical analysis from extensive data sources coming from mobile phone communication and subway smart cards. Our goal is to gather information from the data to characterize individual travel behavior. For each individual we measure the frequency of visits to preferred locations and analyze the distances of travels and stay time distributions from the whole population. The obtained results are shown to be useful in modeling spreading of viruses at a country scale. Work in progress is shown, comparing individual travel patterns at metropolitan areas from three countries. In the second part of the talk I explore potential applications of data analysis to understand the interactions of individuals with space within urban environments, in particular multiplicative random processes are applied to model the distribution of locations of supply and demand in urban spaces to explain measured distribution of travel distances.

Watch the video of Prof. Gonzalez’s presentation.