Clustered embedding using deep learning to analyze urban mobility based on complex transportation data

Sung Bae Cho, Jin Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Urban mobility is a vital aspect of any city and often influences its physical shape as well as its level of economic and social development. A thorough analysis of mobility patterns in urban areas can provide various benefits, such as the prediction of traffic flow and public transportation usage. In particular, based on its exceptional ability to extract patterns from complex large-scale data, embedding based on deep learning is a promising method for analyzing the mobility patterns of urban residents. However, as urban mobility becomes increasingly complex, it becomes difficult to embed patterns into a single vector because of its limited capacity. In this paper, we propose a novel method for analyzing urban mobility based on deep learning. The proposed method involves clustering mobility patterns and embedding them to capture their implicit meaning. Clustering groups mobility patterns based on their spatiotemporal characteristics, and embedding provides meaningful information regarding both individual residents (i.e., personalized mobility) and all residents as a whole, enabling a more effective analysis of mobility patterns. Experiments were performed to predict the successive points of interest (POIs) based on transportation data collected from 1.5 million citizens in a large metropolitan city; the results demonstrate that the proposed method achieves top-1, 3, and 5 accuracies of 73.64%, 88.65%, and 91.54%, respectively, which are much higher than those of the conventional method (59.48%, 75.85%, and 80.1%, respectively). We also demonstrate that the proposed method facilitates the analysis of urban mobility through arithmetic operations between POI vectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0249318
JournalPloS one
Issue number4 April
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Cho, Kim. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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