A scalable approach for data-driven taxi ride-sharing simulation

Masayo Ota, Huy Vo, Claudio Silva, Juliana Freire

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As urban population grows, cities face many challenges related to transportation, resource consumption, and the environment. Ride sharing has been proposed as an effective approach to reduce traffic congestion, gasoline consumption, and pollution. Despite great promise, researchers and policy makers lack adequate tools to assess tradeoffs and benefits of various ride-sharing strategies. Existing approaches either make unrealistic modeling assumptions or do not scale to the sizes of existing data sets. In this paper, we propose a real-time, data-driven simulation framework that supports the efficient analysis of taxi ride sharing. By modeling taxis and trips as distinct entities, our framework is able to simulate a rich set of realistic scenarios. At the same time, by providing a comprehensive set of parameters, we are able to study the taxi ride-sharing problem from different angles, considering different stakeholders' interests and constraints. To address the computational complexity of the model, we describe a new optimization algorithm that is linear in the number of trips and makes use of an efficient indexing scheme, which combined with parallelization, makes our approach scalable. We evaluate our framework and algorithm using real data - 360 million trips taken by 13,000 taxis in New York City during 2011 and 2012. The results demonstrate that our framework is effective and can provide insights into strategies for implementing city-wide ride-sharing solutions. We describe the findings of the study as well as a performance analysis of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015
EditorsFeng Luo, Kemafor Ogan, Mohammed J. Zaki, Laura Haas, Beng Chin Ooi, Vipin Kumar, Sudarsan Rachuri, Saumyadipta Pyne, Howard Ho, Xiaohua Hu, Shipeng Yu, Morris Hui-I Hsiao, Jian Li
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999255
StatePublished - Dec 22 2015
Event3rd IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015 - Santa Clara, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2015Nov 1 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2015 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015


Other3rd IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE Big Data 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Clara


  • scalability
  • shortest-path index
  • simulation
  • taxi ride sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Software


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