Country-wide mobility changes observed using mobile phone data during COVID-19 pandemic

G. Heiler, T. Reisch, J. Hurt, M. Forghani, A. Omani, A. Hanbury, F. Karimipour, in:, 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE, 2021.


Conference Paper | Published | English
Author
Heiler, Georg; Reisch, Tobias; Hurt, Jan; Forghani, Mohammad; Omani, Aida; Hanbury, Allan; Karimipour, FaridIST Austria
Department
Abstract
In March 2020, the Austrian government introduced a widespread lock-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on subjective impressions and anecdotal evidence, Austrian public and private life came to a sudden halt. Here we assess the effect of the lock-down quantitatively for all regions in Austria and present an analysis of daily changes of human mobility throughout Austria using near-real-time anonymized mobile phone data. We describe an efficient data aggregation pipeline and analyze the mobility by quantifying mobile-phone traffic at specific point of interests (POIs), analyzing individual trajectories and investigating the cluster structure of the origin-destination graph. We found a reduction of commuters at Viennese metro stations of over 80% and the number of devices with a radius of gyration of less than 500 m almost doubled. The results of studying crowd-movement behavior highlight considerable changes in the structure of mobility networks, revealed by a higher modularity and an increase from 12 to 20 detected communities. We demonstrate the relevance of mobility data for epidemiological studies by showing a significant correlation of the outflow from the town of Ischgl (an early COVID-19 hotspot) and the reported COVID-19 cases with an 8-day time lag. This research indicates that mobile phone usage data permits the moment-by-moment quantification of mobility behavior for a whole country. We emphasize the need to improve the availability of such data in anonymized form to empower rapid response to combat COVID-19 and future pandemics.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2021-03-19
Proceedings Title
2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data
Conference
Big Data: International Conference on Big Data
Conference Location
Atlanta, GA, United States
Conference Date
2020-12-10 – 2020-12-13
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Heiler G, Reisch T, Hurt J, et al. Country-wide mobility changes observed using mobile phone data during COVID-19 pandemic. In: 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data. IEEE; 2021. doi:10.1109/bigdata50022.2020.9378374
Heiler, G., Reisch, T., Hurt, J., Forghani, M., Omani, A., Hanbury, A., & Karimipour, F. (2021). Country-wide mobility changes observed using mobile phone data during COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data. Atlanta, GA, United States: IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/bigdata50022.2020.9378374
Heiler, Georg, Tobias Reisch, Jan Hurt, Mohammad Forghani, Aida Omani, Allan Hanbury, and Farid Karimipour. “Country-Wide Mobility Changes Observed Using Mobile Phone Data during COVID-19 Pandemic.” In 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data. IEEE, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1109/bigdata50022.2020.9378374.
G. Heiler et al., “Country-wide mobility changes observed using mobile phone data during COVID-19 pandemic,” in 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Atlanta, GA, United States, 2021.
Heiler G, Reisch T, Hurt J, Forghani M, Omani A, Hanbury A, Karimipour F. 2021. Country-wide mobility changes observed using mobile phone data during COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data. Big Data: International Conference on Big Data.
Heiler, Georg, et al. “Country-Wide Mobility Changes Observed Using Mobile Phone Data during COVID-19 Pandemic.” 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, IEEE, 2021, doi:10.1109/bigdata50022.2020.9378374.
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