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A density-based approach for detecting network-constrained clusters in spatial point events

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Existing spatial clustering methods primarily focus on points distributed in planar space. However, occurrence locations and background processes of most human mobility events within cities are constrained by the road network space. Here we describe a density-based clustering approach for objectively detecting clusters in network-constrained point events. First, the network-constrained Delaunay triangulation is constructed to facilitate the measurement of network distances between points. Then, a combination of network kernel density estimation and potential entropy is executed to determine the optimal neighbourhood size. Furthermore, all network-constrained events are tested under a null hypothesis to statistically identify core points with significantly high densities. Finally, spatial clusters can be formed by expanding from the identified core points. Experimental comparisons performed on the origin and destination points of taxis in Beijing demonstrate that the proposed method can ascertain network-constrained clusters precisely and significantly. The resulting time-dependent patterns of clusters will be informative for taxi route selections in the future.
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Keywords: Spatial point events; density-based clustering; network-constrained clusters; statistical tests

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geo-informatics, Central South University, Changsha, China 2: Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial Technology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Publication date: March 4, 2019

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