Assessing Activity Pattern Similarity with Multidimensional Sequence Alignment Based on a Multiobjective Optimization Evolutionary Algorithm

Mei Po Kwan, Ningchuan Xiao, Guoxiang Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the complexity and multidimensional characteristics of human activities, assessing the similarity of human activity patterns and classifying individuals with similar patterns remains highly challenging. This article presents a new and unique methodology for evaluating the similarity among individual activity patterns. It conceptualizes multidimensional sequence alignment as a multiobjective optimization problem and solves this problem with an evolutionary algorithm (EA). The study utilizes sequence alignment to code multiple facets of human activities into multidimensional sequences and to treat similarity assessment as a multiobjective optimization problem that aims to minimize the alignment cost for all dimensions simultaneously. A multiobjective optimization evolutionary algorithm is used to generate a diverse set of optimal or near-optimal alignment solutions. Evolutionary operators are specifically designed for this problem, and a local search method is also incorporated to improve the search ability of the algorithm. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by comparing it with a popular existing method called ClustalG using a set of 50 sequences. The results indicate that our method outperforms the existing method for most of our selected cases. The multiobjective EA presented in this article provides an effective approach for assessing activity pattern similarity and a foundation for identifying distinctive groups of individuals with similar activity patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-320
Number of pages24
JournalGeographical Analysis
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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