Exploring the weather impact on bike sharing usage through a clustering analysis
Sammanfattning: Today bike sharing systems exists in many cities around the globe after a recent growth and popularity in the last decades. It is attractive for cities and users who wants to promote healthier lifestyles; to reduce air pollution and gas emission as well as improve traffic. One major challenge to docked bike sharing system is redistributing bikes and balancing dock stations. There are studies that propose models that can help forecasting bike usage; strategies for rebalancing bike distribution; establish patterns or how to identify patterns. Some of these studies proposes to extend the approach by including weather data. Some had limitations and did not include weather data. This study aims to extend upon these proposals and opportunities to explore on how and in what magnitude weather impacts bike usage. Bike usage data and weather data are gathered for the city of Washington D.C. and are analyzed by using a clustering algorithm called k-means. K-means is suitable for discovering patterns within the data by grouping (clustering) similar instances, which literature review also advocated. In this project, the k-means algorithm managed to identify three clusters that corresponds to bike usage depending on weather. The results show that weather impact on bike usage was noticeable between clusters. It showed that temperature followed by precipitation weighted the most, out of five weather variables. Results also supported that the use of k-means was appropriate for this type of study.
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