A Data-driven Region Generation Framework for Spatiotemporal Transportation Service Management

5 Jun 2023  ·  Liyue Chen, Jiangyi Fang, Zhe Yu, Yongxin Tong, Shaosheng Cao, Leye Wang ·

MAUP (modifiable areal unit problem) is a fundamental problem for spatial data management and analysis. As an instantiation of MAUP in online transportation platforms, region generation (i.e., specifying the areal unit for service operations) is the first and vital step for supporting spatiotemporal transportation services such as ride-sharing and freight transport. Most existing region generation methods are manually specified (e.g., fixed-size grids), suffering from poor spatial semantic meaning and inflexibility to meet service operation requirements. In this paper, we propose RegionGen, a data-driven region generation framework that can specify regions with key characteristics (e.g., good spatial semantic meaning and predictability) by modeling region generation as a multi-objective optimization problem. First, to obtain good spatial semantic meaning, RegionGen segments the whole city into atomic spatial elements based on road networks and obstacles (e.g., rivers). Then, it clusters the atomic spatial elements into regions by maximizing various operation characteristics, which is formulated as a multi-objective optimization problem. For this optimization problem, we propose a multi-objective co-optimization algorithm. Extensive experiments verify that RegionGen can generate more suitable regions than traditional methods for spatiotemporal service management.

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