Yuanshao Zhu, Yongchao Ye, Shiyao Zhang, Xiangyu Zhao*, and James Jianqiao Yu*
Proc. Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, New Orleans, LA, US, Dec. 2023
Pervasive integration of GPS-enabled devices and data acquisition technologies has led to an exponential increase in GPS trajectory data, fostering advancements in spatial-temporal data mining research. Nonetheless, GPS trajectories contain personal geolocation information, rendering serious privacy concerns when working with raw data. A promising approach to address this issue is trajectory generation, which involves replacing original data with generated, privacy-free alternatives. Despite the potential of trajectory generation, the complex nature of human behavior and its inherent stochastic characteristics pose challenges in generating high-quality trajectories. In this work, we propose a spatial-temporal diffusion probabilistic model for trajectory generation (DiffTraj). This model effectively combines the generative abilities of diffusion models with the spatial-temporal features derived from real trajectories. The core idea is to reconstruct and synthesize geographic trajectories from white noise through a reverse trajectory denoising process. Furthermore, we propose a Trajectory UNet (Traj-UNet) deep neural network to embed conditional information and accurately estimate noise levels during the reverse process. Experiments on two real-world datasets show that DiffTraj can be intuitively applied to generate high-fidelity trajectories while retaining the original distributions. Moreover, the generated results can support downstream trajectory analysis tasks and significantly outperform other methods in terms of geo-distribution evaluations. The code is included in the supplementary material.