Optimal group route query: Finding itinerary for group of users in spatial databases


The increasing popularity of location-based applications creates new opportunities for users to travel together. In this paper, we study a novel spatio-social optimization problem , i.e., Optimal Group Route, for multi-user itinerary planning. With our problem formulation, users can individually specify sources and destinations, preferences on the Point-of-interest (POI) categories, as well as the distance constraints. The goal is to find a itinerary that can be traversed by all the users while maximizing the group’s preference of POI categories in the itinerary. Our work advances existing group trip planning studies by maximizing the group’s social experience. To this end, individual preferences of POI categories are aggregated by considering the agreement and disagreement among group members. Furthermore, planning a multi-user itinerary on large road networks is computationally challenging. We propose two efficient greedy algorithms with bounded approximation ratio, one exact solution which computes the optimal itinerary by exploring a limited number of paths in the road network, and a scaled approximation algorithm to speed up the dynamic programming employed by the exact solution. We conduct extensive empirical evaluations on two real-world road network/POI datasets and our results confirm the effectiveness and efficiency of our solutions.

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    ‘*’ denotes new or updated content compared to the conference version [9].

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    After data cleaning.

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    We discarded the trivial instances, which result in empty or single-category meeting graphs.


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The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback that helped to improve the quality of the paper.

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Correspondence to Liyue Fan.

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Liyue Fan and Luca Bonomi contributed equally to this paper.

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Fan, L., Bonomi, L., Shahabi, C. et al. Optimal group route query: Finding itinerary for group of users in spatial databases. Geoinformatica 22, 845–867 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10707-018-0331-8

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  • Route planning
  • Social trip
  • Optimization