Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics Studies Completed Theses
Spatiotemporal Functional Data Analysis of Helsinki's Bike Sharing System

Spatiotemporal Functional Data Analysis of Helsinki's Bike Sharing System

Led by:  Philipp Otto, Hamza Alkhatib
Team:  Andreas Piter
Year:  2020
Is Finished:  yes

Understanding the usage patterns for bike-sharing systems is essential in terms of supporting and enhancing operational planning for such schemes. Studies have demonstrated how factors such as weather conditions influence the number of bikes that should be available at bike-sharing stations at certain times during the day. However, the influences of these factors usually vary over the course of a day, and if there is good temporal resolution, there could also be significant effects only for some hours/minutes (rush hours, the hours when shops are open, and so forth). Thus, in this paper, an analysis of Helsinki's bike-sharing data from 2017 is conducted that considers full temporal and spatial resolutions. Moreover, the data are available at a very high frequency. Hence, the station hire data is analysed in a spatiotemporal functional setting, where the number of bikes at a station is defined as a continuous function of the time of day. For this completely novel approach, we apply a functional spatiotemporal hierarchical model to investigate the effect of environmental factors and the magnitude of the spatial and temporal dependence. Challenges in computational complexity are faced using a bootstrapping approach. The results show the necessity of splitting the bike-sharing stations into two clusters based on the similarity of their spatiotemporal functional observations in order to model the station hire data of Helsinki's bike-sharing system effectively. The estimated functional influences of the proposed factors are different for the two clusters. Moreover, the estimated parameters reveal high random effects in the data that are not explained by the mean of the process. In this random-effects model, the temporal autoregressive parameter dominates the spatial dependence.