Visual mining of moving flock patterns in large spatio-temporal data sets using a frequent pattern approach

U. Turdukulov, A.O. Calderon Romero, O. Huisman, V. Retsios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The popularity of tracking devices continues to contribute to increasing volumes of spatio-temporal data about moving objects. Current approaches in analysing these data are unable to capture collective behaviour and correlations among moving objects. An example of these types of patterns is moving flocks. This article develops an improved algorithm for mining such patterns following a frequent pattern discovery approach, a well-known task in traditional data mining. It uses transaction-based data representation of trajectories to generate a database that facilitates the application of scalable and efficient frequent pattern mining algorithms. Results were compared with an existing method (Basic Flock Evaluation or BFE) and are demonstrated for both synthetic and real data sets with a large number of trajectories. The results illustrate a significant performance increase. Furthermore, the improved algorithm has been embedded into a visual environment that allows manipulation of input parameters and interactive recomputation of the resulting flocks. To illustrate the visual environment a data set containing 30 years of tropical cyclone tracks with 6 hourly observations is used. The example illustrates how the visual environment facilitates exploration and verification of flocks by changing the input parameters and instantly showing the spatio-temporal distribution of the resulting flocks in the Space-Time Cube
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2013-2029
JournalInternational journal of geographical information science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2014


  • METIS-303614


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