event

IDSS Distinguished Seminar Series: Balaji Prabhakar, Stanford University
October 13, 2015 | 4:00 pm | 32-155

bpfoto4Title: “A Big Data System for Things That Move”

Abstract: The world consists of many interesting things that move: people go to work, home, school, and shop in public transit buses and trains, or in cars and taxis; goods move
on these networks and by trucks or by air each day; and food items travel a large distance to meet their eater. Thus, massive movement processes are underway in the world every day and it is critical to ensure their safe, timely and efficient operation. Towards this end, low-cost sensing and acquisition of the movement data is being achieved: from GPS devices, RFID and barcode scanners, to smart commuter cards
and smartphones, snapshots of the movement process are becoming available.

In this talk, I will present a system for stitching together these snapshots and reconstructing urban mobility at a very fine-grained level. The system, which we call the Space-Time Engine, provides an interactive dashboard and a querying engine for answering questions such as: what is the crowding at a train station? where’re packages held up and how can their delivery be sped up? how can the available supply of transport capacity be better used to address daily demand as well as the demand on exceptional days (such as rallies and severe weather events). I will describe the STE’s capabilities for operational and planning purposes, and as a learning system.

Bio: Balaji Prabhakar is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University and co-founder and Chief Scientist of Urban Engines.  His research interests are in cloud computing, Internet algorithms and, recently, in societal networks, especially transportation networks.  He has been awarded the Alfred Sloan Fellowship, the Erlang Prize, the Rollo Davidson Prize, and the IEEE Innovation in Social Infrastructure Award.  He is an IEEE Fellow and serves on the Future Urban Mobility Initiative of the World Economic Forum.

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