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Sequence Alignment as an Intelligent Method for Spatio-temporalHuman Activity Analysis


Dr. Noam Shoval

Professor/a organitzador/a


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


17-12-2008 16:00


This conference is particularly addressed to people interested on Privacy Preserving and Intelligent Data Analysis. The focus of the research of Dr. Shoval is on the tracking of tourists, which concerns: privacy issues (private information about location must not be publicly available) and generation of profiles (to identify types of tourists and design personalized services for them). The presentation introduces the method of sequence alignment as a tool for analyzing the sequential aspects within the temporal and spatial dimensions of human activities. Sequence alignment was first developed during the 1980s and employed by biochemists to analyze DNA sequences. Towards the end of the 1990s it was adapted for use in the social sciences. However, unlike other social sciences practitioners, geographers have not, until now, exploited this method. Unlike traditional quantitative methods, sequence alignment, as its name suggests, is directly concerned with the order (sequence) of events, and is thus well suited for the pursuit of time-geographical research. In order to demonstrate the merits of sequence alignment for geographic research, a database composed of 40 space-time sequences of visitors who had visited the Old City of Akko (Israel) was used. The sequences were obtained by means of GPS devices, which were distributed among the visitors tracked and which they operated for the duration of their visit of the city. The sequences thus obtained were aligned using ClustalG, a sequence alignment computer program. The result of this analysis was the identification of three temporal-spatial time geographies of the visitors that were sampled in this study.


Lab 231 (a confirmar)