Unifying Time Reference of Smart Card Data Using Dynamic Time Warping

The wide use of smart card automatic fare collection (AFC) systems in public transit makes it popular to analyze public transit user behaviour based on smart card data. Most smart-card-based research is time-related, but smart card data time is not always reliable because smart card systems are usually off-line and lack maintenance in China, and smart card data of different buses often share different time references. This paper explores the application of dynamic time warping to unify time reference of smart card data. Based on the analysis of the relationship between boarding time in smart card data and arrival-departure time in automatic vehicle location (AVL) data, a smart card data time reference unification algorithm was proposed. The results indicate that the algorithm can work out reliable time offsets by numerical calculation and runs well with integral AVL data. Due to the fact that the time reference of smart card data for each bus changes daily, the best way to put an end to the smart card time reference problem is to make smart card systems online, such as combining smart card readers with AVL systems.


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  • Accession Number: 01607720
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 5 2016 2:42PM