Connecting People and Events: Multi-Modal Routing and Dynamic User-Generated Content
Dynamic user generated content
Ohio State University
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Computer Science and Engineering Honors Theses; 2009
The Ohio State University is one of the largest campuses in the United States. New students can have an overwhelming experience to adjust to a new place, a new educational system, new surroundings, and also make new friends. At the same time, The Ohio State University brings together students with diverse backgrounds, and has more than 900 student organizations on campus. Each student organization relies on its own means to communicate their events and activities with students on campus. For this reason, it is difficult for student organizations to find students who are interested in their activities and to promote events to large group of students. In addition, it is a challenge to travel around the city without a car. There are ample online tools to provide information such as schedule for public transportation, building locations, student activities but they have not been connected together in a useful fashion. There is a need to help students feel more comfortable in their initial days at the University, help them get around Columbus during their time in college, and to help them sort through the overload of information to find interesting activities on campus. This research project aims to develop an application that helps students find their way from one location on campus to another, encourages them to explore the diversity on the campus, reach out to their peers, support those who proactively seek opportunities for growth, and hopefully contribute to the campus in a positive manner. One of the central ideas of the application is to encourage the community to develop data for the site. Individuals can directly add events, activities, information of student organizations on the site. The thesis explores the need for such an application, presents a domain analysis of the project and defines requirements. Additionally, the thesis develops a multi-modal routing algorithm for public transportation. The Dijkstra’s algorithm was used as the shortest path algorithm for the project. Three important modifications were made to the graph in order to apply Dijkstra’s algorithm for routing over public transportation. Firstly, the vertex of the graph used for bus routing requires latitude and longitude of the bus stop, along with the time when the bus arrives at the bus stop. Hence, the graph used in bus routing has three dimensions – latitude, longitude and time. Secondly, three different kinds of edges were added to the graph – bus, waiting and walking edges. Lastly, the concept of ‘weight’ of an edge in Dijkstra’s graph was modified from it being equal to the distance between the two nodes, to ‘effort’ required from the part of the passenger. ‘Effort’ is calculated based on the amount of time travelled, number of transfers taken, and distance walked in the journey.
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