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Dr. Paul M. Torrens, Center for Urban Science + Progress, New York University

Space-time behavioral analysis

Project overview | Eye candy | Support | Related groups
Project overview

Dealing with the temporal dynamics of geographic processes is one of the grand challenges for Geographic Information Science. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related spatial analysis methods are quite adept at handling spatial dimensions of patterns and processes, but the temporal and coupled space-time attributes of phenomena are difficult to represent and examine with contemporary GIS. We have been developing new tools for constructing space-time GIS and associated methods for spatiotemporal analysis to overcome these bottlenecks, as extensions to commercial GIS products, as well as standalone platforms.

Our main motivation in building these tools has been to couple the systems with our geosimulation products, as a scheme for data-mining, knowledge generation and discovery, and geovisualization. We have also been using space-time GIS as a forensic tool in "reality mining" massive, complex data-sets for human interaction in social, built, and socio-technical systems.
Eye candy

space-time analysis

Traces of movement activity for three people in downtown Salt Lake City. Their space-time activity is represented geometrically as distinct space-time paths through space (X,Y dimensions) and time (Z dimension). Spatial and temporal operations can be performed on these geometries and the results of those operations may be reflected in an underlying spatiotemporal database. Similarly, structured queries to the database may be reflected visually, geometrically, and cartographically on-screen. The on-screen geovisualizations may be used as a user interface to massive underlying datasets. Given a large database of activity-patterns or activity-sequences, a user may use the toolkit to "reality mine" the data for knowledge discovery. The toolkit can also be used to sweep the parameter-space of complex socio-behavioral simulations, particularly when complex agent-based models are deployed.


space-time analysis

We are using this technology in conjunction with new tools for automatically generating space-time activity traces in a sociological study of socio-behavioral group formation.

Griffin, Torrens, Fewell (2006-2009). "Modeling time, space, and behavior: Combining ABM & GIS to create typologies of playgroup dynamics in preschool children", National Science Foundation (Human and Social Dynamics).
Related groups
Senseable City Lab at MIT
MIT Reality Mining group
Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, Arizona State University
Peers across landscapes, Arizona State University
Shih-Lung Shaw, University of Tennessee, Knoxsville
Mei-Po Kwan, Ohio State University


Projects >>

Dynamic physics for built infrastructure

moving agents through space and time

Moving agents through space and time

modeling riots

Modeling riots

Validating agent-based models

Machine-learning behavioral geography

Accelerating agent-based models

megacity models

Megacity futures

Immersive modeling

Space-time GIS and analysis

A toolkit for measuring sprawl

space-time GIS

Modeling time, space, and behavior

simulating crowd behavior

Simulating crowd behavior