The commute of residents in a big city often brings tidal traffic pressure or congestions. Understanding the causes behind this phenomenon is of great significance for urban space optimization. Various spatial big data make the fine description of urban residents’ travel behaviors possible, and bring new approaches to related studies. The present study focuses on two aspects: one is to obtain relatively accurate features of commuting behaviors by using mobile phone data, and the other is to simulate commuting behaviors of residents through the agent-based model and inducing backward the causes of congestion. Taking the Baishazhou area of Wuhan, a local area of a mega city in China, as a case study, we simulated the travel behaviors of commuters: the spatial context of the model is set up using the existing urban road network and by dividing the area into space units. Then, using the mobile phone call detail records of a month, statistics of residents’ travel during the four time slots in working day mornings are acquired and then used to generate the Origin-Destination matrix of travels at different time slots, and the data are imported into the model for simulation. Under the preset rules of congestion, the agent-based model can effectively simulate the traffic conditions of each traffic intersection, and can induce backward the causes of traffic congestion using the simulation results and the Origin-Destination matrix. Finally, the model is used for the evaluation of road network optimization, which shows evident effects of the optimizing measures adopted in relieving congestion, and thus also proves the value of this method in urban studies.
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