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Crowd Sensing of Traffic Anomalies based on Human Mobility and Social Media

Bei Pan, Yu Zheng, David Wilkie, and Cyrus Shahabi


The advances in mobile computing and social networking services enable people to probe the dynamics of a city. In this paper, we address the problem of detecting and describing traffic anomalies using crowd sensing with two forms of data, human mobility and social media. Traffic anomalies are caused by accidents, control, protests, sport events, celebrations, disasters and other events. Unlike the existing traffic-anomaly-detection methods, we identify anomalies according to drivers' routing behavior on an urban road network. Here, a detected anomaly is represented by a sub-graph of a road network where people's routing behaviors significantly differ from their original patterns. We then try to describe a detected anomaly by mining representative terms from the social media that people posted when the anomaly happened. The system for detecting such traffic anomalies can benefit both drivers and transportation authorities, e.g., by notifying drivers approaching an anomaly and suggesting alternative routes, as well as supporting traffic jam diagnosis and dispersal. We evaluated our system with a GPS trajectory dataset generated by over 30,000 taxicabs over a period of 3 months in Beijing, and a dataset of tweets collected from WeiBo, a Twitter-like social site in China. The results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our system.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2013
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