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Human mobility: Models and applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Hugo Barbosa
  • Marc Barthelemy
  • Gourab Ghoshal
  • Charlotte R. James
  • Maxime Lenormand
  • Thomas Louail
  • Ronaldo Menezes
  • José J. Ramasco
  • Filippo Simini
  • Marcello Tomasini
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-74
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics Reports
Early online date13 Feb 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - 6 Mar 2018


Recent years have witnessed an explosion of extensive geolocated datasets related to human movement, enabling scientists to quantitatively study individual and collective mobility patterns, and to generate models that can capture and reproduce the spatiotemporal structures and regularities in human trajectories. The study of human mobility is especially important for applications such as estimating migratory flows, traffic forecasting, urban planning, and epidemic modeling. In this survey, we review the approaches developed to reproduce various mobility patterns, with the main focus on recent developments. This review can be used both as an introduction to the fundamental modeling principles of human mobility, and as a collection of technical methods applicable to specific mobility-related problems. The review organizes the subject by differentiating between individual and population mobility and also between short-range and long-range mobility. Throughout the text the description of the theory is intertwined with real-world applications.

    Research areas

  • Human mobility, Human dynamics, Random walks, Origin-destination matrices



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 23.7 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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