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TOMNET Leadership Webinar Series: Promises of Big Data in Transportation Planning Applications 

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TOMNET, a USDOT-sponsored Tier 1 University Transportation Center, has launched a Leadership Webinar series featuring research by core/lead faculty members of the TOMNET Center. TOMNET is a UTC led by Arizona State University that includes Georgia Tech, the University of South Florida and the University of Washington as consortium partners. In this webinar, Cynthia Chen, a professor at the University of Washington and National Science Foundation Civil Infrastructure Systems program director, discusses travel survey difference big data analysis.

TOMNET Leadership Webinar Series: Promises of Big Data in Transportation Planning Applications 
Presented by Cynthia Chen, professor, University of Washington and NSF Civil Infrastructure Systems program director

Thursday, December 13, 2018
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About the Talk

The next-generation household travel surveys, the core data generation mechanism for supporting both short- and long-term transportation planning applications, are poised to be transformed. It is now increasingly recognized that passively-solicited big data, or large amount of data generated through various types of subscription services, will play an important role in this transformation. Passively-solicited data in its various forms (e.g., mobile sightings, app-based data) not only differ substantially from the household travel survey data, but also among themselves. We argue that the very first step for the passively-solicited data to be integrated into the next-generation household travel surveys is to understand their differences. In this talk, we propose a three-order analysis framework to analyze these differences. Two case studies each involving a big dataset and a corresponding survey dataset are analyzed to demonstrate their respective properties. The analysis results confirm many distinct properties of such big data as compared between themselves and to the survey data.

About the Speaker

Cynthia Chen is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle UW. She directs the THINK (Transportation-Human Interaction-and- Network Knowledge) lab where she and her students study the sustainability and resilience of a city through the lens of human beings interacting with the physical infrastructures and the built environment. Chen graduated from University of California, Davis with a doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2001; prior to joining UW, she had taught at City College of New York as an Assistant Professor from 2003 to 2009. Chen has published extensively and her work has been supported by many federal and local agencies. She is an associate editor of Transportation.

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