"The ability of social networks to produce information on heavy traffic, road hazards, quality of service of public transportation and more is valuable to decision makers," said Dr. Tsvi Kuflik, the Head of the Information Systems Department at the University of Haifa and one of the authors of this study.
One of the major needs of decision makers and planners in the field of transportation is to get real-time information on transportation issues such as heavy traffic, “bottlenecks”, safety hazards, availability or unavailability of public transport, etc’. Other important information includes knowing whether there is a special event coming up that might cause specific problems like a big football game, creating unusual traffic, bottlenecks, crowded public transport, problems with parking and such. Authorities and planners in the field of transportation must be able to prepare and address days of mass events differently than other regular days.
The three year study began in 2011 and was led by Dr. Susan Grant-Muller from the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. It was funded by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) in collaboration with Dr. Ayelet Gal - from the Technion and Dr. Silvio Nocera from the University of Venice, Dr. Tsvi Kuflik, Dr. Einat Minkov and Mr. Itai Schor from the University of Haifa. The researchers chose to focus on Twitter because it is a public social network and mainly because of its short messages that enable to extract relevant information with relative ease.
For their study, the researchers chose to focus on specific dates when games of the Liverpool soccer club were being held. They were able to develop a method to examine tweets hours before and after the games and find the ones related to transportation issues (that were sent by road users and not by transport authorities). The tweets that were found were arranged according to specific subjects.
The system turned out to be successful beyond their imagination: it found over 1100 tweets that were somehow connected to transport, 900 of which were related to problems experienced by users and that were caused by the games hosted by Liverpool. About half of the complaints were related to the quality of service (mainly public transport, etc’), in about a third of the messages Twitter users were looking for a ride or some guidance about the best means of transportation to their destination. Approximately 16% of the messages were reports of unusual events like accidents. The main complaints were related to crowded busses and trains, availability, accuracy of transport services and long travel times.
"Our research shows that the information people tweet on Twitter is an “information gold mine” that has not been used yet. Correct identification of relevant tweets from Twitter can provide first hand information about the problems, complaints and customer expectations - in our case, of the citizens themselves - and enable policy makers to better plan the steps they need to take", the researchers concluded.
Polina Petruhin | Newswise
Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik
Discovering electric mobility in a playful way
18.08.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering