IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE) is an archival journal published monthly designed to inform researchers, developers, managers, strategic planners, users, and others interested in state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice activities in the knowledge and data engineering area. Read the full scope of TKDE

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From the March 2019 issue

Detecting Pickpocket Suspects from Large-Scale Public Transit Records 

By Bowen Du, Chuanren Liu, Wenjun Zhou, Zhenshan Hou, and Hui Xiong

Featured ArticleMassive data collected by automated fare collection (AFC) systems provide opportunities for studying both personal traveling behaviors and collective mobility patterns in urban areas. Existing studies on AFC data have primarily focused on identifying passengers’ movement patterns. However, we creatively leveraged such data for identifying pickpocket suspects. Stopping pickpockets in the public transit system has been crucial for improving passenger satisfaction and public safety. Nonetheless, in practice, it is challenging to discern thieves from regular passengers. In this paper, we developed a suspect detection and surveillance system, which can identify pickpocket suspects based on their daily transit records. Specifically, we first extracted a number of useful features from each passenger’s daily activities in the transit system. Then, we took a two-step approach that exploits the strengths of unsupervised outlier detection and supervised classification models to identify thieves, who typically exhibit abnormal traveling behaviors. Experimental results demonstrated the effectiveness of our method. We also developed a prototype system for potential uses by security personnel. 

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Editorials and Announcements


  • TKDE now offers authors access to Code Ocean. Code Ocean is a cloud-based executable research platform that allows authors to share their algorithms in an effort to make the world’s scientific code more open and reproducible. Learn more or sign up for free.
  • We are pleased to announce that Xuemin Lin, a Scientia Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia, has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering starting in 2017.


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