A multi-task memory network with knowledge adaptation for multimodal demand forecasting

Can Li, Lei Bai, Wei Liu, Lina Yao, S. Travis Waller

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Travel demand forecasting is useful for both trip and service planning, and thus is of great importance. Most existing studies focus on demand forecasting for a single mode, while much less attention has been paid to multimodal demand forecasting. This paper develops a multimodal demand forecasting approach, which can learn and utilize information/knowledge from different public transit modes and thus improve the demand prediction of the travel mode with sparse observations (e.g., station-sparse mode). In particular, this study focuses on improving the passenger demand prediction accuracy of the station-sparse mode(s) with the help of the station-intensive mode (i.e., the mode with more sufficient knowledge and intensive station distribution over space). We propose a novel Knowledge Adaptation with Attentive Multi-task Memory Network (KA2M2) in order to utilize closely-related demand patterns from the station-intensive mode for demand forecasting of the station-sparse mode(s). Specifically, we first design a memory-augmented recurrent network for enhancing the ability to capture the long-and-short term demand information and storing the extracted temporal knowledge of each transit mode. Then, we develop and integrate an attention-based knowledge adaptation module to adapt relevant information from the station-intensive source to the station-sparse source(s). The experimental results on a real-world dataset collected from the Greater Sydney area covering four public transport modes (bus, train, light rail, and ferry) demonstrate that the proposed approach consistently outperforms a number of baseline methods and state-of-the-art models. Our findings also illustrate that incorporating information/knowledge from multimodal trip records can enhance the demand forecasting accuracy for station-sparse modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103352
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Demand prediction
  • Knowledge adaptation
  • Memory neural network
  • Multimodal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Computer Science Applications


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