Uncovering the spatial structure of mobility networks in cities – Methods and applications

Thomas Louail

Vendredi 19 février 2016 à 11h, salle 24-25/405


The increasing availability of individual geographic footprints has generated a broad scientific interest for human mobility networks, at various scales and in different geographical contexts. In this talk I will present some recent results related to urban mobility. I will first present a method we developed to extract an expressive and coarse-grained signature from a large, weighted and directed network. I will then discuss the results we obtained when we applied this method to mobility networks extracted from mobile phone data in 31 Spanish cities, in order to compare the structure of journey-to-work commuting in these cities. The method distinguishes different types of links/flows, and clearly highlights a clear relation between city size and the importance of these types of . In the second part of my talk, I will focus on the shopping trips networks extracted from credit card transactions, performed by hundreds of thousands of anonymized individuals in the two largest Spanish cities. Starting from the bipartite networks that link individuals and businesses of the city, I will show that it is possible to evenly distribute business income among neighbourhoods — and then mitigate spatial inequality — by reassigning only a very small fraction of each individual’s shopping trips. This spatial and bottom-up approach of wealth redistribution could be easily implemented in mobile apps, that would assist individuals in slightly reshaping their mobility routines. Our results hence illustrate the social benefits individuals are entitled to expect from the analysis of the data they daily produce.