Learning task-specific city region partition

Hongjian Wang, Porter Jenkins, Hua Wei, Fei Wu, Zhenhui Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The proliferation of publicly accessible urban data provide new insights on various urban tasks. A frequently used approach is to treat each region as a data sample and build a model over all the regions to observe the correlations between urban features (e.g., demographics) and the target variable (e.g., crime count). To define regions, most existing studies use fixed grids or pre-defined administrative boundaries (e.g., census tracts or community areas). In reality, however, definitions of regions should be different depending on tasks (e.g., regional crime count prediction vs. real estate prices estimation). In this paper, we propose a new problem of task-specific city region partitioning, aiming to find the best partition in a city w.r.t. a given task. We prove this is an NP-hard search problem with no trivial solution. To learn the partition, we first study two variants of Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). We further propose a reinforcement learning scheme for effective sampling the search space. We conduct experiments on two real datasets in Chicago (i.e., crime count and real estate price) to demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450366748
StatePublished - May 13 2019
Event2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: May 13 2019May 17 2019

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019


Conference2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


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