Towards fusing uncertain location data from heterogeneous sources

Bing Zhang*, Goce Trajcevski, Liu Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Properly incorporating location-uncertainties – which is, fully considering their impact when processing queries of interest – is a paramount in any application dealing with spatio-temporal data. Typically, the location-uncertainty is a consequence of the fact that objects cannot be tracked continuously and the inherent imprecision of localization devices. Although there is a large body of works tackling various aspects of efficient management of uncertainty in spatio-temporal data – the settings consider homogeneous localization devices, e.g., either a Global Positioning System (GPS), or different sensors (roadside, indoor, etc.).In this work, we take a first step towards combining the uncertain location data – i.e., fusing the uncertainty of moving objects location – obtained from both GPS devices and roadside sensors. We develop a formal model for capturing the whereabouts in time in this setting and propose the Fused Bead (FB) model, extending the bead model based solely on GPS locations. We also present algorithms for answering traditional spatio-temporal range queries, as well as a special variant pertaining to objects locations with respect to lanes on road segments – augmenting the conventional graph based road network with the width attribute. In addition, pruning techniques are proposed in order to expedite the query processing. We evaluated the benefits of the proposed approach on both real (Beijing taxi) and synthetic (generated from a customized trajectory generator) data. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method of fusing the uncertainties may eliminate up to 26 % of the false positives in the Beijing taxi data, and up to 40 % of the false positives in the larger synthetic dataset, when compared to using the traditional bead uncertainty models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-212
Number of pages34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Beads
  • Roadside sensors
  • Uncertainty fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards fusing uncertain location data from heterogeneous sources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this