Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Human Movement Model Can Aid In Studying Epidemic Outbreaks, Public Planning

Date:
April 28, 2009
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new statistical model that simulates human mobility patterns, mimicking the way people move over the course of a day, a month or longer. The model is the first to represent the regular movement patterns of humans using statistical data. The model has a host of potential uses, ranging from land use planning to public health studies of epidemic disease.

Researchers have developed a new statistical model that simulates human mobility patterns, mimicking the way people move over the course of a day, a month or longer. The model, developed by scientists at North Carolina State University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is the first to represent the regular movement patterns of humans using statistical data.

The model has a host of potential uses, ranging from land use planning to public health studies of epidemic disease.

The researchers gave global positioning system (GPS) devices to approximately 100 volunteers at five locations in the U.S. and South Korea and tracked the participants' movements over time, according to study co-author Dr. Injong Rhee, a professor of computer science at NC State. By plotting the points where the study participants stopped, and their movement trajectories, researchers were able to determine patterns of mobility behavior.

For example, Rhee says, the researchers found that people tend to perform multiple activities in clusters that are in close proximity to each other – such as going to a bank, a dry-cleaner and a pharmacy that are all located on the same street. Furthermore, the researchers found that the study participants tend to more frequently visit locations that are popular among other people.

These behaviors illustrated statistical patterns. For example, Rhee explains, people will try to make the most efficient use of their time and effort by clustering activities together that are in geographical proximity to each other. This behavior creates patterns in which people make many short "jumps" within the clustered areas while making a few long jumps among the clustered areas. These patterns are best explained by statistical processes called self-similar points of visits and power-law distribution of jumping distances.

The researchers were then able to emulate these fundamental statistical properties of human mobility into a model that could be used to represent the regular daily movement of humans, Rhee says. The model is called the Self-similar Least Action Walk (SLAW), which could have a wide array of practical applications.

For example, Rhee says, "a realistic human mobility model could be used by civil engineers to plan roads, by public health officials to study virus outbreak spread, or by telecommunication companies for planning where to locate cell-phone towers. Any situation where you would want to be able to predict where people will go."

The research, "SLAW: A Mobility Model for Human Walks," was presented April 20 at the 28th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The research team that developed the model includes Rhee, NC State Ph.D. candidate Seongik Hong, NC State post-doctoral research associate Seong Joon Kim, and KAIST researchers Kyunghan Lee and Song Chong. The National Science Foundation funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "New Human Movement Model Can Aid In Studying Epidemic Outbreaks, Public Planning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102231.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2009, April 28). New Human Movement Model Can Aid In Studying Epidemic Outbreaks, Public Planning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102231.htm
North Carolina State University. "New Human Movement Model Can Aid In Studying Epidemic Outbreaks, Public Planning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102231.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) eBay's StubHub is caught up in an international cyber crime ring stretching from North America to Europe. Conway G. Gittens reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins