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Using Social Networks for Exchanging Valuable Real Time Public Transport Information among Travellers

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4 Author(s)
Nunes, A.A. ; Fac. de Eng., Univ. do Porto, Porto, Portugal ; Galvao, T. ; Falcao e Cunha, J. ; Pitt, J.V.

Public transport users are increasingly connected in real time through mobile devices to social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. This allows them both to access and to provide valuable operational and emotional information from and to fellow travellers. Transport network management could benefit from this exchange, and also participate by providing rewards to valuable contributors. This paper introduces a model for such cooperative exchanges of information and proposes a valuation system for the information provided and obtained. Users and automatic systems (sensors) would provide information, such as punctuality, noise levels, and assessments of driver's skills, referenced to particular vehicles, routes and times. Then other users accessing such information would classify it on the level of correctness and usefulness, under a validation scheme operated by the transport network management. Such information could either be openly available or private in some degree within a social network, taking account of security aspects that need to be preserved. In a mature environment, more valuable information could only be made available via subscription or freely available to highly valued contributing users. The use of social networks would provide an easy way of sharing information and also provide a sense of community to the involved travellers. Transport network management benefiting from relevant information exchanges could reward users contributing with valuable data, as an incentive to enhance participation. In this context, the information exchanged would achieve a real transactional value and present a new electronic commerce paradigm. Overall, such exchange could also be seen as a serious game.

Published in:

Commerce and Enterprise Computing (CEC), 2011 IEEE 13th Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-7 Sept. 2011