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Models of human mobility have broad applicability in fields such as mobile computing, urban planning, and ecology. This paper proposes and evaluates WHERE, a novel approach to modeling how large populations move within different metropolitan areas. WHERE takes as input spatial and temporal probability distributions drawn from empirical data, such as Call Detail Records (CDRs) from a cellular telephone network, and produces synthetic CDRs for a synthetic population. The authors have validated WHERE against billions of anonymous location samples for hundreds of thousands of phones in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. They found that WHERE offers significantly higher fidelity than other modeling approaches.
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