Yifang Yin, Rajiv Ratn Shah, Guanfeng Wang, Roger Zimmermann, ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (2018).


With the increasing availability of GPS-equipped mobile devices, location-based services have become an integral part of people’s everyday life. Among one of the initial steps of positioning data management, map matching aims to reduce the uncertainty in a trajectory by matching the GPS points to the road network on a digital map. Most existing work has focused on estimating the likelihood of a candidate route based on the GPS observations, while neglecting to model the probability of a route choice from the perspective of drivers. In this work, we propose a novel feature-based map matching algorithm that estimates the cost of a candidate route based on both GPS observations and human factors. To take human factors into consideration is highly important especially when dealing with low sampling rate data where most of the movement details are lost.

Additionally, we simultaneously analyze a subsequence of coherent GPS points by utilizing a new segment- based probabilistic map matching strategy, which is less susceptible to the noisiness of the positioning data.

We have evaluated both the offline and the online versions of our proposed approach on a public large-scale GPS dataset, which consists of 100 trajectories distributed all over the world. The experimental results show that our method is robust to sparse data with large sampling intervals (e.g., 60 s ∼ 300 s) and challenging track features (e.g., u-turns and loops). Measurements including map matching accuracy and system efficiency have been thoroughly evaluated and discussed. Compared with two state-of-the-art map matching algorithms, our method substantially reduces the route mismatch error by 6.4% ∼ 32.3% (either offline or online with the window size set to 360 s) with a slight increase in terms of the processing time. The experimental results show that our proposed method obtains the state-of-the-art map matching results in all the different combinations of sampling rates and challenging features.