TOPTRAC: Topical trajectory pattern mining

Younghoon Kim, Jiawei Han, Cangzhou Yuan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With the increasing use of GPS-enabled mobile phones, geotagging, which refers to adding GPS information to media such as micro-blogging messages or photos, has seen a surge in popularity recently. This enables us to not only browse information based on locations, but also discover patterns in the location-based behaviors of users. Many techniques have been developed to find the patterns of people's movements using GPS data, but latent topics in text messages posted with local contexts have not been utilized effectively. In this paper, we present a latent topic-based clustering algorithm to discover patterns in the trajectories of geo-tagged text messages. We propose a novel probabilistic model to capture the semantic regions where people post messages with a coherent topic as well as the patterns of movement between the semantic regions. Based on the model, we develop an efficient inference algorithm to calculate model parameters. By exploiting the estimated model, we next devise a clustering algorithm to find the significant movement patterns that appear frequently in data. Our experiments on real-life data sets show that the proposed algorithm finds diverse and interesting trajectory patterns and identifies the semantic regions in a finer granularity than the traditional geographical clustering methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKDD 2015 - Proceedings of the 21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336642
StatePublished - Aug 10 2015
Event21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2015 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: Aug 10 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining


Other21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2015


  • Modeling geo-tagged messages
  • Topical trajectory pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


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