Synergizing Spatial Optimization with Large Language Models for Open-Domain Urban Itinerary Planning

In this paper, we introduce the novel task of Open-domain Urban Itinerary Planning (OUIP), a paradigm designed to generate personalized urban itineraries from user requests articulated in natural language. This approach is different from traditional itinerary planning, which often restricts the granularity of user inputs, thus hindering genuine personalization. To this end, we present ItiNera, an OUIP system that synergizes spatial optimization with large language models (LLMs) to provide services that customize urban itineraries based on users' needs. Upon receiving the user's itinerary request, the LLM first decomposes it into detailed components, identifying key requirements, including preferences and dislikes. Then, we use these specifics to select candidate POIs from a large-scale collection using embedding-based Preference-aware POI Retrieval. Finally, a preference score-based Cluster-aware Spatial Optimization module clusters, filters, and orders these POIs, followed by the LLM for detailed POI selection and organization to craft a personalized, spatially coherent itinerary. Moreover, we created an LLM-based pipeline to update and personalize a user-owned POI database. This ensures up-to-date POI information, supports itinerary planning, pre-trip research, POI collection, recommendations, and more. To the best of our knowledge, this study marks the first integration of LLMs to innovate itinerary planning, with potential extensions for various urban travel and exploration activities. Offline and online evaluations demonstrate the capacity of our system to deliver more responsive, personalized, and spatially coherent itineraries than current solutions. Our system, deployed on an online platform, has attracted thousands of users for their urban travel planning.

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