Limits of predictability in human mobility

Chaoming Song, Zehui Qu, Nicholas Blumm, Albert László Barabási

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1716 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A range of applications, from predicting the spread of human and electronic viruses to city planning and resource management in mobile communications, depend on our ability to foresee the whereabouts and mobility of individuals, raising a fundamental question: To what degree is human behavior predictable? Here we explore the limits of predictability in human dynamics by studying the mobility patterns of anonymized mobile phone users. By measuring the entropy of each individual's trajectory, we find a 93% potential predictability in user mobility across the whole user base. Despite the significant differences in the travel patterns, we find a remarkable lack of variability in predictability, which is largely independent of the distance users cover on a regular basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1021
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume327
Issue number5968
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

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City Planning
Cell Phones
Aptitude
Entropy
Communication
Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Song, C., Qu, Z., Blumm, N., & Barabási, A. L. (2010). Limits of predictability in human mobility. Science, 327(5968), 1018-1021. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1177170

Limits of predictability in human mobility. / Song, Chaoming; Qu, Zehui; Blumm, Nicholas; Barabási, Albert László.

In: Science, Vol. 327, No. 5968, 19.02.2010, p. 1018-1021.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Song, C, Qu, Z, Blumm, N & Barabási, AL 2010, 'Limits of predictability in human mobility', Science, vol. 327, no. 5968, pp. 1018-1021. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1177170
Song C, Qu Z, Blumm N, Barabási AL. Limits of predictability in human mobility. Science. 2010 Feb 19;327(5968):1018-1021. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1177170
Song, Chaoming ; Qu, Zehui ; Blumm, Nicholas ; Barabási, Albert László. / Limits of predictability in human mobility. In: Science. 2010 ; Vol. 327, No. 5968. pp. 1018-1021.
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