Scaling laws of spatial visitation frequency: Applications for trip frequency prediction

Z. Zheng, S. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


The relationship of the built environment to human travel is one of the mainstream themes in urban studies. It provides a foundation for transport prediction. The existing literature is limited in accuracy when predicting spatial temporal travels from built environment. Understanding the scaling laws of spatial visitation frequency sheds new light on the issue. The scaling laws connect travel and the built environment by ordered-rankings, which make it possible to predict the number of arrivals from environmental variables. This research analyses the scaling laws of dynamic spatial visitation frequency using taxis' global positioning system (GPS) records, and proposes a model to predict spatial temporal arrivals from points of interest (POIs). The results show that: (i) the scaling law of spatial visitation frequency is exponential; (ii) the exponential scaling law is explained by the linear preferential attachment effect and a logarithmic travel growth process; (iii) the exponential scaling law is not sensitive to time; (iv) the proposed model predicts spatial temporal arrivals with high accuracy (R2 > 0.6).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-343
Number of pages12
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Built environment
  • Human mobility
  • Scaling laws
  • Transport prediction
  • Urban dynamic


Dive into the research topics of 'Scaling laws of spatial visitation frequency: Applications for trip frequency prediction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this