Identifying Tourists from Public Transport Commuters

author: Mingqiang Xue, Institute for Infocomm Research
published: Oct. 7, 2014,   recorded: August 2014,   views: 2032


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Tourism industry has become a key economic driver for Singapore. Understanding the behaviors of tourists is very important for the government and private sectors, e.g., restaurants, hotels and advertising companies, to improve their existing services or create new business opportunities. In this joint work with Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA), we innovatively apply machine learning techniques to identity the tourists among public commuters using the public transportation data provided by LTA. On successful identification, the travelling patterns of tourists are then revealed and thus allow further analyses to be carried out such as on their favorite destinations, region of stay, etc. Technically, we model the tourists identification as a classification problem, and design an iterative learning algorithm to perform inference with limited prior knowledge and labeled data. We show the superiority of our algorithm with performance evaluation and comparison with other state-of-the-art learning algorithms. Further, we build an interactive web-based system for answering queries regarding the moving patterns of the tourists, which can be used by stakeholders to gain insight into tourists' travelling behaviors in Singapore.

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