Deriving human activity from geo-located data by ontological and statistical reasoning

Zolzaya Dashdorj, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Sang-Geun Lee, Carlo Ratti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Every day, billions of geo-referenced data (e.g., mobile phone data records, geo-tagged social media, gps records, etc.) are generated by user activities. Such data provides inspiring insights about human activities and behaviors, the discovery of which is important in a variety of domains such as social and economic development, urban planning, and health prevention. The major challenge in those areas is that interpreting such a big stream of data requires a deep understanding of context where each activity occurs. In this study, we use a geographical information data, OpenStreetMap (OSM) to enrich such context with possible knowledge. We build a combined logical and statistical reasoning model for inferring human activities in qualitative terms in a given context. An extensive validation of the model is performed using separate data-sources in two different cities. The experimental study shows that the model is proven to be effective with a certain accuracy for predicting the context of human activity in mobile phone data records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to special thank to Luciano Serafini at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler Data Knowledge Management Unit (FBK-DKM) for providing his intellectual advices for this research. The authors further thank the Telecom Italia Semantic Knowledge Innovation Lab (SKIL) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) for providing the datasets for this research, as well as Ericsson, the MIT SMART Program, the Center for Complex Engineering Systems (CCES) at KACST and MIT CCES program, the National Science Foundation, the MIT Portugal Program, the AT&T Foundation, Audi Volkswagen, BBVA, The Coca Cola Company, Expo 2015, Ferrovial, Liberty Mutual, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, UBER, all the members of the MIT SENSEable City Lab Consortium and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (Number 2015R1A2A1A10052665 ) for supporting the research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Human activity recognition
  • Knowledge management
  • Ontology
  • Spatial data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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