Space–time prism bounds of activity programs: a goal-directed search in multi-state supernetworks

Feixiong Liao (Corresponding author)

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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Space–time prism (STP), which envelops the spatial and temporal opportunities for travel and activity participation within a time frame, is a fundamental concept in time geography. Despite many variants, STPs have been mostly modeled for one flexible activity between two anchor points. This study proposes a systemic approach to construct the STP bounds of activity programs that usually include various possible realizations of activity chains. To that effect, multi-state supernetworks are applied to represent the relevant path sets of multi-activity travel patterns. A goal-directed search method in multi-state supernetworks is developed to delineate the potential space–time path areas satisfying the space–time constraints. Particularly, the approximate lower and upper STP bounds are obtained by manipulating the goal-directed search procedure utilizing landmark-based triangular inequalities and spatial characteristics. The suggested approach can in an efficient fashion find the activity state dependent bounds of STP and potential path area. The formalism of goal-directed search through multi-state supernetworks addresses the fundamental shift from constructing STPs for single flexible activities to activity programs of flexible activity chains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-921
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019


  • goal-directed search
  • multi-state supernetwork
  • potential path area
  • Space–time prism


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