A knowledge graph-based method for epidemic contact tracing in public transportation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems, planning - methods, planning - personal safety/crime


Digital Contact Tracing, Contact Network, Knowledge Graph, Public Transportation, Epidemic Control


Contact tracing is an effective measure by which to prevent further infections in public transportation systems. Considering the large number of people infected during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital contact tracing is expected to be quicker and more effective than traditional manual contact tracing, which is slow and labor-intensive. In this study, we introduce a knowledge graph-based framework for fusing multi-source data from public transportation systems to construct contact networks, design algorithms to model epidemic spread, and verify the validity of an effective digital contact tracing method. In particular, we take advantage of the trip chaining model to integrate multi-source public transportation data to construct a knowledge graph. A contact network is then extracted from the constructed knowledge graph, and a breadth-first search algorithm is developed to efficiently trace infected passengers in the contact network. The proposed framework and algorithms are validated by a case study using smart card transaction data from transit systems in Xiamen, China. We show that the knowledge graph provides an efficient framework for contact tracing with the reconstructed contact network, and the average positive tracing rate is over 96%.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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