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Page history last edited by Somayeh Dodge 11 years, 2 months ago


Welcome to Patterns of Movement wiki:



Mobility is a key element of many processes and activities, and the understanding of movement is important in many areas of science and technology such as meteorology, biology, sociology, transportation engineering, to name but a few. Hence, increasing amounts of movement tracking data and other data about the dynamics of mobile objects or agents are being collected.

In most cases, moving object data sets are rather large in volume and complex in the structure of movement patterns that they record. Therefore, it is necessary to develop efficient data mining algorithms and visual analytics techniques in order to extract useful and relevant information, regularities and structure from massive movement data sets. Such tools can help researchers detecting movement patterns and exploring movement behavior of different entity types.

There are several good reasons for a comprehensive taxonomy and accurate definitions of movement patterns:

  • First, the design of efficient and effective algorithms requires accurate formalization of the movement patterns and their properties.
  • Second, most of the quoted work departs from the assumption that generic algorithms can be developed that will be suitable for different kinds of MPO data. However, this will only be possible if we know exactly the similarities but also the differences between different types of moving object data.
  • Third, and related to the second point, is the argument of interoperability: Movement analysis extends across diverse disciplines and hence different people should be able to gain the same understanding of the same terms. 
  • Finally, an accurate definition of motion patterns and their constituents is also important for the evaluation of detected patterns by simulation.

This work intends to contribute to the development of a toolbox of data mining algorithms for movement analysis by developing firstly a conceptual framework for movement behavior of different moving objects and secondly a comprehensive taxonomy and detailed definitions of movement patterns as well as the elements that make up movement. We argue that this is indispensable as a basis for the development of pattern recognition algorithms that are required to be efficient (i.e. usable on massive data sets), effective (i.e. capable of accurately detecting patterns not artifacts), and as generic as possible (i.e. potentially applicable to different types of movement data).


This work is published in the special Issue of the ICA Commission on Geovisualization on Geovisualization of Dynamics, Movement and Change, information visualization journal:


Dodge, S., Weibel, R. & Lautenschütz, A.-K. (2008). Towards a Taxonomy of Movement Patterns. Information Visualization. Information Visualization (2008) 7, 240–252. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ivs.9500182. (Download pdf)


This wiki hosts more background information and more detailed definitions of movement patterns. We would be thrilled if you help us with the consolidation of the taxonomy and the associated definitions, as we firmly believe that our impetus should turn into a community project, crucial to make progress of movement data mining on a broad scale.


In order to collaborate on the wiki and share your idea, you are kindly welcome to contact me at somayeh.dodge@geo.uzh.ch.


To continue to the wiki page please klick here Patterns of Movement.


News – January 2010: Dr.-Ing. Frank Dylla added a new page to open the discussion to further elaborate and refine the original conceptual framework and classification of movement patterns. Please visit the Discussion page for more details and share your ideas.



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