Characterizing user behavior in journey planning


Journey planners support users in the organization of their trips, by presenting them results with multimodal solutions. While the benefits for the users are straightforward, other stakeholders (such as transport operators and planners) might benefit from understanding how users behave. In this paper, we analyze and characterize user behavior in journey planners, with the aim of getting insights from different perspectives (namely, trip search and both sorting and selection actions related to trip options). Our results show that, in order to characterize user behavior, multiple perspectives have to be taken into account, and that users speaking different languages behave differently.

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    In this paper, we will use the terms “journey” and “trip” interchangeably.

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    Both departure and arrival locations can be constituted of a specific address, thus indicating a door-to-door trip.

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    With this term, we refer to those who select English in the RouteRANK platform.

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    Note that the sum of the elements is not 103 because the same journey can be sorted and selected by multiple (not corresponding) criteria. For instance, a search \(s_1\) may be sorted by (Price, Duration), while the selected journey is the one with lowest (departureTime, arrivalTime). In this case this single journey will appear four times in the plot, as: Price-departureTime, Price-arrivalTime, duration-departureTime and duration-arrivalTime.

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This work was supported by project MoTiV (Mobility and Time Value), funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under Grant Agreement No. 770145. The authors would like to thank Viet Hang Nguyen for the dataset, and Marc Torrent and Yonas Kassa for their contributions.

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Correspondence to Ludovico Boratto.

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Boratto, L., Manca, M., Lugano, G. et al. Characterizing user behavior in journey planning. Computing 102, 1245–1258 (2020).

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  • User behavior
  • Journey planners
  • Data analytics
  • Transport

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 68