Deep-Gap: A deep learning framework for forecasting crowdsourcing supply-demand gap based on imaging time series and residual learning

by   Ahmed Ben Said, et al.

Mobile crowdsourcing has become easier thanks to the widespread of smartphones capable of seamlessly collecting and pushing the desired data to cloud services. However, the success of mobile crowdsourcing relies on balancing the supply and demand by first accurately forecasting spatially and temporally the supply-demand gap, and then providing efficient incentives to encourage participant movements to maintain the desired balance. In this paper, we propose Deep-Gap, a deep learning approach based on residual learning to predict the gap between mobile crowdsourced service supply and demand at a given time and space. The prediction can drive the incentive model to achieve a geographically balanced service coverage in order to avoid the case where some areas are over-supplied while other areas are under-supplied. This allows anticipating the supply-demand gap and redirecting crowdsourced service providers towards target areas. Deep-Gap relies on historical supply-demand time series data as well as available external data such as weather conditions and day type (e.g., weekday, weekend, holiday). First, we roll and encode the time series of supply-demand as images using the Gramian Angular Summation Field (GASF), Gramian Angular Difference Field (GADF) and the Recurrence Plot (REC). These images are then used to train deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) to extract the low and high-level features and forecast the crowdsourced services gap. We conduct comprehensive comparative study by establishing two supply-demand gap forecasting scenarios: with and without external data. Compared to state-of-art approaches, Deep-Gap achieves the lowest forecasting errors in both scenarios.


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