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Baidu develops a new algorithm to avoid stampedes

Baidu, Baidu algorithm, stampedes

Chinese search engine giant Baidu has developed a machine-learning algorithm that predicts whether the crowds are likely to form at certain locations in two hours, which could be used to prevent stampedes.

中国搜索引擎巨头百度开发了一项机器学习算法,预测人群是否有可能在两小时内在某些位置聚集,用以防止踩踏事故。

The algorithm uses data from Baidu's map app, said a research report published by Baidu's Big Data Lab on Tuesday, studying the number of map queries and the number of users in an area.

该运算法使用了百度地图应用程序的数据,研究地图查询的数量和用户在一个地区的数量,百度大数据实验室周二发布的研究报告说。

Its map app accounts for over 70 per cent of China's mapping services market, the company's user statistics show. Many Chinese users often search for an ideal travel route using Baidu Maps.

该公司的用户统计数据显示,其地图应用程序占中国地图服务市场的70%以上。许多中国用户经常使用百度地图搜索理想的旅行路线。

The lab began to concentrate on how to predict crowds in certain areas following the Shanghai stampede on New Year's Eve in Dec 2014, where 36 people were killed during celebrations on the Bund riverfront, according to Wu Haishan, co-author of the report.

该实验室继2014年12月的除夕夜36人因踩踏事件死于上海外滩河边庆祝活动之后,就专注于如何预测特定区域的人群,据该报告的合著者吴海山称。

Using the map data, they found a way to determine the numbers in real time and trigger warnings 30 minutes to two hours ahead of time if unusually large crowds are expected to gather. This occurs when the number of queries for a specific location crosses a set threshold. Machine learning is applied so that the algorithm can learn from search queries and better predict future crowds.

利用地图数据,他们发现了一种方法来确定实时数字,如果非常大的人群将聚集,则会提前30分钟到两个小时触发警告。当特定位置的查询数目超过了设定的阈值,警告就会发生。该技术使用了机器学习,因此计算法则可以从搜索查询中学习,更好地预测未来的人群。

Wu said that the algorithm could be used by local governments, authorities and even venue operators to monitor crowds. It may eventually provide the function as a public service feature on Baidu Maps, according to Wu.

吴海山说该算法可以由地方政府,主管部门和活动场地运营商应用于监测人群。它可能最终会成为百度地图的公共服务功能,吴海山说。

If implemented, the feature would allow users to see what the crowds are like in various locations using the app.

如果得以实施,这项功能将允许用户使用应用程序看到不同位置的人群状况。

2016-06-23

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