A multi-dimensional city data embedding model for improving predictive analytics and urban operations

Zhe Jing, Yan Luo, Xiaotong Li, Xin Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: A smart city is a potential solution to the problems caused by the unprecedented speed of urbanization. However, the increasing availability of big data is a challenge for transforming a city into a smart one. Conventional statistics and econometric methods may not work well with big data. One promising direction is to leverage advanced machine learning tools in analyzing big data about cities. In this paper, the authors propose a model to learn region embedding. The learned embedding can be used for more accurate prediction by representing discrete variables as continuous vectors that encode the meaning of a region. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use the random walk and skip-gram methods to learn embedding and update the preliminary embedding generated by graph convolutional network (GCN). The authors apply this model to a real-world dataset from Manhattan, New York, and use the learned embedding for crime event prediction. Findings: This study’s results show that the proposed model can learn multi-dimensional city data more accurately. Thus, it facilitates cities to transform themselves into smarter ones that are more sustainable and efficient. Originality/value: The authors propose an embedding model that can learn multi-dimensional city data for improving predictive analytics and urban operations. This model can learn more dimensions of city data, reduce the amount of computation and leverage distributed computing for smart city development and transformation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Big data
  • Graph convolutional network (GCN)
  • Machine learning
  • Region embedding
  • Smart city

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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