Taxi demand prediction is one of the key factors in making online taxi hailing services more successful and more popular. Accurate taxi demand prediction can bring various advantages including, but not limited to, enhancing user experience, increasing taxi utilization, and optimizing traffic efficiency. However, the task is challenging because of complex spatial and temporal dependencies of taxi demand. In addition, relationships between non-adjacent regions are also critical for accurate taxi demand prediction, whereas they are largely ignored by existing approaches. To this end, we propose a novel graph and time-series learning model for city-wide taxi demand prediction in this paper. It has two main building blocks, the first one utilize a graph network with attention mechanism to effectively learn spatial dependencies of taxi demand in a broader perspective of the entire city, and the output at each time interval is then transferred to the second block. In the graph network, the edge is defined by an Origin–Destination relation to capture non-adjacent impacts. The second one uses a neural network which is adept with processing sequence data to capture the temporal correlations of city-wide taxi demand. Using a large, real-world dataset and three metrics, we conduct an extensive experimental study and find that our model outperforms state-of-the-art baselines by 9.3% in terms of the root-mean-square error.
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