Publication Type

Journal Article

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We advocate for and introduce TRANSense, a framework for urban transportation service analytics that combines participatory smartphone sensing data with city-scale transportation-related transactional data (taxis, trains etc.). Our work is driven by the observed limitations of using each data type in isolation: (a) commonly-used anonymous city-scale datasets (such as taxi bookings and GPS trajectories) provide insights into the aggregate behavior of transport infrastructure, but fail to reveal individual-specific transport experiences (e.g., wait times in taxi queues); while (b) mobile sensing data can capture individual-specific commuting-related activities, but suffers from accuracy and energy overhead challenges due to usage artefacts and lack of appropriate sensing triggers. TRANSense demonstrates how a judicious fusion of such disparate data sources can overcome these challenges and offer novel insights. We detail two examples: (a) Taxi Service Analyzer that provides accurate detection of commuter queuing for taxis and estimates their wait time, by using taxi trip records to identify potential taxi locations with high demand and subsequently selectively triggering mobile sensing-based queuing analytics on nearby commuters; and (b) Subway Boarding Analyzer that identifies instances when passengers fail to board arriving trains, by first estimating train arrivals from temporal patterns of passenger egress at station gantries, and then using mobile sensing-based analysis of commuter movement behavior on platforms. Experiments with real-world datasets (from over 20,000 taxis and 1.7 million commuters in Singapore) show the power of this approach: the taxi service analyzer detects commuter queuing with over 90% accuracy with negligible energy overhead and estimates wait times with error margins below 15%, whereas the subway boarding analyzer can detect failed boarding events with a precision of over 90% (more than thrice what is achievable through purely mobile sensing). IEEE


Crowdsourcing, Data analysis, Data integration, Pervasive computing, Public transportation


Databases and Information Systems | Data Storage Systems | Transportation

Research Areas

Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics


IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing

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Last Page







Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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