Scaling laws for the movement of people between locations in a large city

G. Chowell, J. M. Hyman, S. Eubank, Carlos Castillo-Chavez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large scale simulations of the movements of people in a "virtual" city and their analyses are used to generate insights into understanding the dynamic processes that depend on the interactions between people. Models, based on these interactions, can be used in optimizing traffic flow, slowing the spread of infectious diseases, or predicting the change in cell phone usage in a disaster. We analyzed cumulative and aggregated data generated from the simulated movements of 1.6 x 10(6) individuals in a computer (pseudo-agent-based) model during a typical day in Portland, Oregon. This city is mapped into a graph with 181,206 nodes representing physical locations such as buildings. Connecting edges model individual's flow between nodes. Edge weights are constructed from the daily traffic of individuals moving between locations. The number of edges leaving a node (out-degree), the edge weights (out-traffic), and the edge weights per location (total out-traffic) are fitted well by power-law distributions. The power-law distributions also fit subgraphs based on work, school, and social/recreational activities. The resulting weighted graph is a "small world" and has scaling laws consistent with an underlying hierarchical structure. We also explore the time evolution of the largest connected component and the distribution of the component sizes. We observe a strong linear correlation between the out-degree and total out-traffic distributions and significant levels of clustering. We discuss how these network features can be used to characterize social networks and their relationship to dynamic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66102
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Volume68
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Scaling Laws
scaling laws
traffic
Traffic
Weights and Measures
Power-law Distribution
Dynamic Process
Cell Phones
Vertex of a graph
Disasters
Social Support
Communicable Diseases
Cluster Analysis
Small World
Agent-based Model
Infectious Diseases
Weighted Graph
Disaster
Hierarchical Structure
Traffic Flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Scaling laws for the movement of people between locations in a large city. / Chowell, G.; Hyman, J. M.; Eubank, S.; Castillo-Chavez, Carlos.

In: Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, Vol. 68, No. 6, 01.12.2003, p. 66102.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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