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Predicting the Upcoming Services of Vacant Taxis near Fixed Locations Using Taxi Trajectories

Hu, Chunchun, Thill, Jean-Claude
ISPRS international journal of geo-information 2019 v.8 no.7
Markov chain, algorithms, cities, data collection, industry, models, prediction, traffic, China
Emerging on-line reservation services and special car services have greatly affected the development of the taxi industry. Surprisingly, taking a taxi is still a significant problem in many large cities. In this paper, we present an effective solution based on the Hidden Markov Model to predict the upcoming services of vacant taxis that appear at some fixed locations and at specific times. The model introduces a weighted confusion matrix and a modified Viterbi algorithm, combining the factors of time of day and traffic conditions. In our framework, the hotspot or hidden states extraction is implemented through kernel density estimation (KDE) and fuzzy partitioning of traffic zones is done via a Fuzzy C Means (FCM) algorithm. We implement the proposed model on a large-scale dataset of taxi trajectories in Beijing. In this use case, tests demonstrate the high accuracy of the modeling framework in predicting the upcoming services of vacant taxis. We further analyze the factors affecting the predictive accuracy via a prediction accuracy analysis and prediction location evaluation. The findings of this paper can provide intelligence for the improvement of taxi services, to increase the passenger capacity of taxis and also to improve the probability of passengers finding taxis.