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Transportation mode detection – an in-depth review of applicability and reliability

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The wide adoption of location-enabled devices, together with the acceptance of services that leverage (personal) data as payment, allows scientists to push through some of the previous barriers imposed by data insufficiency, ethics and privacy skepticism. The research problems whose study require hard-to-obtain data (e.g. transportation mode detection, service contextualisation, etc.) have now become more accessible to scientists because of the availability of data collecting outlets. One such problem is the detection of a user's transportation mode. Different fields have approached the problem of transportation mode detection with different aims: Location-Based Services (LBS) is a field that focuses on understanding the transportation mode in real-time, Transportation Science is a field that focuses on measuring the daily travel patterns of individuals or groups of individuals, and Human Geography is a field that focuses on enriching a trajectory by adding domain-specific semantics. While different fields providing solutions to the same problem could be viewed as a positive outcome, it is difficult to compare these solutions because the reported performance indicators depend on the type of approach and its aim (e.g. the real-time availability of LBS requires the performance to be computed on each classified location). The contributions of this paper are three fold. First, the paper reviews the critical aspects desired by each research field when providing solutions to the transportation mode detection problem. Second, it proposes three dimensions that separate three branches of science based on their main interest. Finally, it identifies important gaps in research and future directions, that is, proposing: widely accepted error measures meaningful for all disciplines, methods robust to new data sets and a benchmark data set for performance validation.
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Keywords: Transportation mode detection; human geography; location-based services; transportation science; transportation segmentation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Department of Urban Planning and Environment, Division of Geoinformatics, Stockholm, Sweden 2: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Department of Transport Science, Division of Transport and Location Analysis, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: July 4, 2017

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