Detecting road intersections from GPS traces using longest common subsequence algorithm

Xie, Xingzhe and Liao, Wenzhi and Aghajan, Hamid and Veelaert, Peter and Philips, Wilfried (2016) Detecting road intersections from GPS traces using longest common subsequence algorithm. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6 (1). ISSN 2220-9964 (

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Intersections are important components of road networks, which are critical to both route planning and path optimization. Most existing methods define the intersections as locations where the road users change their moving directions and identify the intersections from GPS traces through analyzing the road users’ turning behaviors. However, these methods suffer from finding an appropriate threshold for the moving direction change, leading to true intersections being undetected or spurious intersections being falsely detected. In this paper, the intersections are defined as locations that connect three or more road segments in different directions. We propose to detect the intersections under this definition by finding the common sub-tracks of the GPS traces. We first detect the Longest Common Subsequences (LCSS) between each pair of GPS traces using the dynamic programming approach. Second, we partition the longest nonconsecutive subsequences into consecutive sub-tracks. The starting and ending points of the common sub-tracks are collected as connecting points. At last, intersections are detected from the connecting points through Kernel Density Estimation (KDE). Experimental results show that our proposed method outperforms the turning point-based methods in terms of the F-score.