Geographic Segmentation via Latent Poisson Factor Model

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Discovering latent structures in spatial data is of critical importance to understanding the user behavior of location based services. In this paper, we study the problem of geographic segmentation of spatial data, which involves dividing a collection of observations into distinct geo-spatial regions and uncovering abstract correlation structures in the data. We introduce a novel, Latent Poisson Factor (LPF) model to describe spatial count data. The model describes the spatial counts as a Poisson distribution with a mean that factors over a joint item-location latent space. The latent factors are constrained with weak labels to help uncover interesting spatial dependencies. We study the LPF model on a mobile app usage data set and a news article readership data set. We empirically demonstrate its effectiveness on a variety of prediction tasks on these two data sets.

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