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“Forecasts about the Individuals’...

‘University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies’ in ‘Iran Hall’ - 5/8/2016  12:00 AM

On Sunday evening of May 8, 2016 a conference entitled “Forecasts about the Individuals’ Conducts in Means of Transport Based on Their Activities in Social Networks” was hosted by the ‘University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies’ in ‘Iran Hall’. The guest speaker was “Mojtaba Maghrebi”, a Ph.D in Civil Engineering and IT from the University of New South Wales, Australia who was invited on behalf of the UNESCO’S chair of Virtual Space and Culture.

Addressing the university professors and students, Dr. Maghrebi spoke about the researcher carried out during the recent years on the citizens’ behaviours in social networks in some parts of Australia and the United States and pointed out that the advancement of the modern communication technologies in social networks has led to some inconveniences for the users all over the world.

Dr. Maghrebi said: “Particular activities are being practiced by some social media that target certain groups of people in a determined period of time. Besides it has to be mentioned that the ones that are most affected are the users, since they themselves disclose their personal information freely to the social media sites. The users send their personal data to the ones who govern the sites and manage their activities, so they are more exposed to the damages caused by such social networks.”

He then followed: “Part of the project concerned conducting a study about the social network ‘Foursquare’, which soon will be widespread in Iran, too. In ‘Foursquare’ one can see 7 applicable characters and 524 branches. The characters applied are mostly related to restaurants, education, pastime, sports and similar subjects. The users upload clips in Foursquare, recorded in places they have been, leaving tips to express how much they like it. In this way, a great amount of data can be obtained from the users who share their info in this service.” 

Moreover, Dr. Maghrebi underlined one activity that was carried out through Foursquare and Twitter about the hurricane that took place in Orlando, which brought about much damage and destruction. Thanks to the predictions made beforehand about the population density in different towns, the crisis management was very efficiently handled in order to confront the storm. Such information and data are of use in the area of crisis management in special circumstances when the citizens and people from different social strata get into trouble.

Dr. Maghrebi continued: “One applicable pattern is considering how, to what extent and in which areas the individuals and the citizens of a city or a country use public transport. This pattern can be used for managing a city efficiently. By having access to such facts and data in social networks it would be very easy to control peoples’ comings and goings and at no cost, while determining during which hours people use public transport most. This is a good method to assess public transportation and the level of citizen satisfaction. Besides, we can realize during which hours people tend to travel less through the city.”

Another research that was done in this regard involved the use of certain words or phrases and their impact on the rate of traffic collision. The work showed that using certain words while driving increases the risk of accident. So, there is a meaningful relationship between car accidents and our way of talking.

To sum up his point, he added: “These procedures are done through random questions asked from people. Then the information obtained is overlapped with other data and is applied in urban planning and with respect to the tourists’ attitudes in the cities. Cities should be prepared for receiving the tourists. The tourists’ way of behaving is very considerable in megacities when there is rush-hour traffic. In this respect the amount of data extracted from social networks is very important, as it helps us to build traffic models. Also the techniques applied in this procedure are of importance. For example social networks in Sydney show us the number of the users and helped us to give a clear definition of the human language and to show which words correlate and things like that.”

At the end of the conference a present was given to Dr. Mojtaba Maghrebi by the University of Tehran’s Faculty of World Studies.     

“Forecasts about the Individuals’ Conducts in Means of Transport Based on Their Activities in Social Networks”