Mining user check-in behavior with a random walk for urban point-of-interest recommendations

Josh Jia Ching Ying*, Wen Ning Kuo, S. Tseng, Eric Hsueh Chan Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


In recent years, research into the mining of user check-in behavior for point-of-interest (POI) recommendations has attracted a lot of attention. Existing studies on this topic mainly treat such recommendations in a traditional manner-that is, they treat POIs as items and check-ins as ratings. However, users usually visit a place for reasons other than to simply say that they have visited. In this article, we propose an approach referred to as Urban POI-Walk (UPOI-Walk), which takes into account a user's social-triggered intentions (SI), preference-triggered intentions (PreI), and popularity-triggered intentions (PopI), to estimate the probability of a user checking-in to a POI. The core idea of UPOI-Walk involves building a HITS-based random walk on the normalized check-in network, thus supporting the prediction of POI properties related to each user's preferences. To achieve this goal, we define several user-POI graphs to capture the key properties of the check-in behavior motivated by user intentions. In our UPOI-Walk approach, we propose a new kind of random walk model-Dynamic HITS-based Random Walk-which comprehensively considers the relevance between POIs and users from different aspects. On the basis of similitude, we make an online recommendation as to the POI the user intends to visit. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work on urban POI recommendations that considers user check-in behavior motivated by SI, PreI, and PopI in location-based social network data. Through comprehensive experimental evaluations on two real datasets, the proposed UPOI-Walk is shown to deliver excellent performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2014


  • Location-based social network
  • Point-of-interest recommendation
  • Urban computing, data mining
  • User preference mining

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