Urban Analytics

(Dr Gavin McArdle)

Understanding how people use cities is important. This knowledge can feed into urban planning, intelligent transport systems, resource allocation and the personalisation of city services. Urban analytics is the science of examining data related to cities to provide insight into how they operate and are utilised by citizens. The project focuses on movement which is seen as a fundamental process within cities. Data such as mobile phone records, GPS tracks and traffic counts all describe human movement. By analysing these data, new insights into human behaviour can be gained.  The challenge and opportunity come from the size of these datasets which can be very large, irregularly sampled and complex.  Specialist analytics tools, such as machine learning, clustering and geovisual analysis need to be used to detect patterns and identify behaviour.  Within this domain, the project has developed algorithms to detect similar behaviour among pedestrians and tools to personalise searching for city services. Through this research collaborations with companies in smart city domain such as AOL and Huawei have been established. For Example, Dr Gavin McArdle is currently a Science Foundation Ireland funded Industry Research Fellow at the IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin where he is developing new techniques to simulate and predict traffic and movement in cities.