A geo-computational algorithm for exploring the structure of diffusion progression in time and space

Wei Chien Benny Chin, Tzai Hung Wen, Clive E. Sabel, I. Hsiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


A diffusion process can be considered as the movement of linked events through space and time. Therefore, space-time locations of events are key to identify any diffusion process. However, previous clustering analysis methods have focused only on space-time proximity characteristics, neglecting the temporal lag of the movement of events. We argue that the temporal lag between events is a key to understand the process of diffusion movement. Using the temporal lag could help to clarify the types of close relationships. This study aims to develop a data exploration algorithm, namely the TrAcking Progression In Time And Space (TaPiTaS) algorithm, for understanding diffusion processes. Based on the spatial distance and temporal interval between cases, TaPiTaS detects sub-clusters, a group of events that have high probability of having common sources, identifies progression links, the relationships between sub-clusters, and tracks progression chains, the connected components of sub-clusters. Dengue Fever cases data was used as an illustrative case study. The location and temporal range of sub-clusters are presented, along with the progression links. TaPiTaS algorithm contributes a more detailed and in-depth understanding of the development of progression chains, namely the geographic diffusion process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12565
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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