Mining Points-of-Interest for Explaining Urban Phenomena: A Scalable Variational Inference Approach
- Conference Paper
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Points-of-interest (POIs; i.e., restaurants, bars, landmarks, and other entities) are common in web-mined data: they greatly explain the spatial distributions of urban phenomena. The conventional modeling approach relies upon feature engineering, yet it ignores the spatial structure among POIs. In order to overcome this shortcoming, the present paper proposes a novel spatial model for explaining spatial distributions based on web-mined POIs. Our key contributions are: (1) We present a rigorous yet highly interpretable formalization in order to model the influence of POIs on a given outcome variable. Specifically, we accommodate the spatial distributions of both the outcome and POIs. In our case, this modeled by the sum of latent Gaussian processes. (2) In contrast to previous literature, our model infers the influence of POIs without feature engineering, instead we model the influence of POIs via distance-weighted kernel functions with fully learnable parameterizations. (3) We propose a scalable learning algorithm based on sparse variational approximation. For this purpose, we derive a tailored evidence lower bound (ELBO) and, for appropriate likelihoods, we even show that an analytical expression can be obtained. This allows fast and accurate computation of the ELBO. Finally, the value of our approach for web mining is demonstrated in two real-world case studies. Our findings provide substantial improvements over state-of-the-art baselines with regard to both predictive and, in particular, explanatory performance. Altogether, this yields a novel spatial model for leveraging web-mined POIs. Within the context of location-based social networks, it promises an extensive range of new insights and use cases. Show more
Book titleProceedings of the World Wide Web Conference 2020 (WWW '20)
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
SubjectSpatial analytics; Point-of-interest; Web-mined location data; Gaussian Process; Variational inference
Organisational unit09623 - Feuerriegel, Stefan (ehemalig) / Feuerriegel, Stefan (former)
NotesDue to the Corona virus (COVID-19) the conference was conducted virtually.
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