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Transportation Engineering on Social Question and Answer Websites: An Empirical Case Study

  • Mohammad NoaeenEmail author
  • Zahra Shakeri Hossein Abad
  • Guenther Ruhe
  • Behrouz Homayoun Far
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Big Data book series (SBD, volume 27)

Abstract

In the last decade, the area of Transportation Engineering (TE), and its underlying disciplines such as public transit, connected vehicles, road planning, and air traffic management, has become increasingly prominent. A better understanding of what the most challenging topics related to TE are among practitioners will greatly help to identify the areas of TE that may require extra attention by researchers and project managers. However, there has been very little experimental work in regards to identify true practitioner’s needs on the implementation and understanding of TE activities and tasks. Therefore, in this paper, we use data from the popular social Q&A sites (e.g. Stack Overflow and Engineering Exchange), and analyze 2457 questions and answers in order to examine the needs of transportation engineers, and their concerns and questions. We applied Latent Dirichlet Allocation-based (LDA) topic models and statistical analysis to explore the main related topics to TE.

Our findings show that practitioners are question the application of GIS tools, such as QGIS and ArcGIS for managing and implementing road planning. Further, we determined the popularity of each topic by conducting statistical analysis. Our findings help highlight the challenges facing transportation engineers, which require more attention from the Civil Engineering, Software Engineering, and specifically Data Analysis research communities and establish a novel approach for analyzing the content of social Q&A websites.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Noaeen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zahra Shakeri Hossein Abad
    • 2
  • Guenther Ruhe
    • 2
  • Behrouz Homayoun Far
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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