The promises of big data and small data for travel behavior (aka human mobility) analysis.


The last decade has witnessed very active development in two broad, but separate fields, both involving understanding and modeling of how individuals move in time and space (hereafter called "travel behavior analysis" or "human mobility analysis"). One field comprises transportation researchers who have been working in the field for decades and the other involves new comers from a wide range of disciplines, but primarily computer scientists and physicists. Researchers in these two fields work with different datasets, apply different methodologies, and answer different but overlapping questions. It is our view that there is much, hidden synergy between the two fields that needs to be brought out. It is thus the purpose of this paper to introduce datasets, concepts, knowledge and methods used in these two fields, and most importantly raise cross-discipline ideas for conversations and collaborations between the two. It is our hope that this paper will stimulate many future cross-cutting studies that involve researchers from both fields.

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