Luca Pappalardo (PI) is a full-time researcher at the Institute of Information Science and Technologies of the National Research Council of Italy (ISTI-CNR) in Pisa (since 2017). Luca is a member of the KDD Lab – Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, a joint research initiative of the University of Pisa, the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. Luca’s research focuses on data science, AI, computational social science and their impact on society, with a particular focus on the (privacy-preserving) analysis of human mobility and the design of mechanistic and AI models for the prediction and generation of human mobility. Luca is also part of SoBigData.eu, the European H2020 Research Infrastructure “Big Data Analytics and Social Mining Ecosystem”, in which he is responsible for coordinating the research that is conducted within the infrastructure. Luca has been a visiting scientist at Barabasi Lab (Center for Complex Network Research) of Northeastern University, Boston, and at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, and at the Pontifícia Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2014, Luca received a grant from Google and the Italian National Statistics Bureau (ISTAT) for the most innovative ideas in using big data sources to study complex economic phenomena.

Short Bio:

Google Scholar: https://bit.ly/3p2s4pu

Period of visit: May 9th to July 2nd, 2022

Host: TRiBE research team/Inria Saclay – Ile de France

Activities (25 hours)

During the visits at INRIA, Luca Pappalardo performed the following activities:

● talk entitled “A Deep Gravity model for mobility flows generation” and discussion with the research team at the Interaction Data Lab, at CRI research (Paris).
4 hours

● talk on “Human Mobility” and discussion with the TriBE research team at INRIA Saclay.
2 hours

● Series of meetings at INRIA Saclay with:
○ Aline Carneiro Viana (researcher, INRIA Saclay) and Anna Josiane Kouam (PhD student, INRIA Saclay) about the design of a model to generate synthetic mobile phone records.
2 hours
○ Aline Carneiro Viana and Giovanni Mauro (PhD student, University of Pisa), on using deep learning for generating realistic mobility data.
2 hours
○ Aline Carneiro Viana, Anna Josiane Kouam and Leo Ferres (associate professor, Universidad del Desarrollo of Santiago de Chile) on the use of massive mobile phone records to train and test mobility generation models.
3 hours

● Course of four lessons (3 hours each) entitled “Introduction to Human Mobility”, organized by Master managers of TPT and in the context of the master degree of IPP.
12 hours

Highlights (8 hours)

● Support to INRIA Saclay for the submission of a STIC AmSud project proposal between INRIA Saclay and Universidad del Desarrollo of Santiago de Chile. Although Luca Pappalardo’s institution (ISTI-CNR) will be not formally involved into this project (if accepted), some funding of this project will be used to cover trips for other meeting in Italy and France.
4 hours

● Discussion with Aline Carneiro Viana about the functionalities of the scikit mobility library and how to integrate human mobility research conducted at INRIA into scikit-mobility
4 hours

Lectures on

Human Mobility: an Introduction

By prof. Luca Pappalardo from
Institute of Information Science and Technologies – Italian National Research Council 
and co-creator/co-manager of scikit-mobility
 (4 lectures of 3h)

The classes with take place in the Alain Turing building (Inria Saclay, https://www.inria.fr/en/how-get-inria-saclay-centre, rooms hereafer) in the following time slots:

– June, 2nd, 2:30-5:30 pm, at Gilles Kahn room,
– June, 9th; 2:30-5:30 pm; Sophie Germain auditorium,
– June, 16th; 2:30-5:30 pm, Sophie Germain auditorium,
– June, 23rd; 2:30-6:00 pm (lab), at Gilles Kahn room.
The syllabus and Luca’s short bio are presented below.
Contact: Aline Carneiro Viana aline.viana@inria.fr, Andrea Araldo andrea.araldo@telecom-sudparis.eu, Luca Pappalardo luca.pappalardo@isti.cnr.it, Natalia Kushik natalia.kushik@telecom-sudparis.eu 

Looking forward to your participation. 

Title:  Human Mobility: an introduction
Hours 12h of lectures, including a practical part in Python
Lecturer: Luca Pappalardo
Brief program description:
The analysis of geographic information, such as those describing human movements, is crucial due to its impact on several aspects of our society, such as disease spreading, urban planning, well-being, pollution, and more. This course will teach the fundamental concepts and techniques underlying the analysis of mobility data, presenting data sources (e.g., mobile phone records, GPS traces, geotagged social media posts), data preprocessing techniques, and statistical laws.
Introductory lesson
  • Introduction to the course 
Spatial and Mobility Data
  • Trajectory and Flows
  • Spatial Tessellations
  • Mobility data
    • Mobile Phone Data
    • GPS data
    • Social media data
    • Other data (POIs, Road Networks, etc.)
  • Preprocessing mobility data
    • filtering
    • compression
    • stop detection
    • trajectory segmentation
    • trajectory similarity and clustering
Patterns and Laws
  • individual mobility laws
  • predictability of individual mobility
  • collective mobility laws
  • human mobility analysis in Python
Evaluation Two alternatives:
  • Implementation of a method within a mobility library
  • An analysis of a dataset using a mobility library


ISTI-CNR (Institute of Information Science and Technologies
– Italian National Research Council)

Inria Saclay – Ile de France

Axe scientifique DigiCosme ComEx, IID

Expected outcomes and impact of the program of work

Predicting mobility-related behavior is an important, but challenging task. On one hand, factors such as one’s routine or preferences for a few favorite locations may help in predicting her mobility. On the other hand, there are several other factors, such as changes in preferences, weather, traffic, or even a person’s friends, that make individual mobility prediction quite challenging. A fundamental approach to study mobility-related behavior is to assess how predictable such behavior is, deriving theoretical limits on the accuracy that a prediction model can achieve given a specific dataset. This approach focuses on the inherent nature and fundamental patterns of human behavior captured in datasets, filtering out factors that depend on the specificities of the prediction method adopted. However, the current state-of-the-art method to estimate predictability in human mobility suffers from two major limitations, notably, low interpretability and hardness to incorporate external factors which are known to help mobility prediction (e.g., contextual information, such as spatiotemporal information).

In this context, the research project described at the “Program of work” intends to make several direct contributions. One outcome is the establishment and consolidation of a thematic and collaboration between the partners to deal with the challenges of investigating and predicting patterns in human behavior from a theoretical (i.e., predictability) and practical (i.e., Markov Chain and ML predictors) point of view. Building on the newly acquired knowledge we intend to develop a novel generalized predictability metric for human mobility that overcomes current metrics limitations by accounting for
spatial, temporal and sequential dimensions in mobility behaviors. As a case of study, a direct outcome will be the leveraging of resulting mobility understanding and its AI-enhanced anticipation in future generation transit systems, optimized to consider transit schedules, individuals mobility preferences and habits, and on demand services. It is worth mentioning accurately predicting human trajectories is relevant to many domains and applications such as targeted advertising, epidemic prevention, or smooth resource and handover management for mobile networks. More generally, by improving knowledge and prediction of user behaviors, the project can enhance the construction of human-aware business models, technological services and applications, and public services.

Finally, a large spectrum of new research opportunities can be fostered by the multidisciplinary nature of the problem. We strongly believe the combined expertise of Luca Pappalardo, Aline C. Viana, and Andrea Araldo as well as their research complementarity will be of great impact to literature, Digicosme, and respective institutions.

Program of work during the visit

Generalized predictability measure for human mobility
accounting for spatial, temporal, and sequential dimensions – GenPM-STD

Program of courses during the visit

Understanding and extracting human mobility properties