Human mobility is closely associated with places. Due to advancements in GPS devices and related sensor technologies, an unprecedented amount of tracking data has been generated in recent years, thus providing a new way to investigate the interactions between individuals and places, which are vital for depicting individuals’ characteristics. In this paper, we propose a framework for mining individual similarity based on long-term trajectory data. In contrast to most existing studies, which have focused on the sequential properties of individuals’ visits to public places, this paper emphasizes the essential role of the spatio-temporal interactions between individuals and their personally significant places. Specifically, rather than merely using public geographic databases, which include only public places and lack personal meanings, we attempt to interpret the semantics of places that are significant to individuals from the perspectives of personal behavior. Next, we propose a new individual similarity measurement that incorporates both the spatio-temporal and semantic properties of individuals’ visits to significant places. By experimenting on real-world GPS datasets, we demonstrate that our approach is more capable of distinguishing individuals and characterizing individual features than the previous methods. Additionally, we show that our approach can be used to effectively measure individual similarity and to aggregate individuals into meaningful subgroups.
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