Takahiro Yabe (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Behavior-based dependency networks shape the economic resilience of cities
Abstract | Urban economic resilience to pandemics, disasters, and infrastructural change depends on the propagation of shocks throughout local businesses. While disruptions are typically considered by business type (e.g., restaurant closures during the COVID pandemic), shocks to individual businesses can spillover to negatively impact nearby businesses too. Here, we use large-scale human mobility data (e.g., mobile phone GPS) to measure decreased foot-traffic as a proxy for financial losses for storefront businesses. To predict disruption cascades, we analyze the dependencies between points-of-interest (POIs; e.g., businesses and amenities) using mobility data capturing millions of sequential visits to different POIs in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Dallas. The empirical behavior-based dependency network is significantly more clustered, transitive, and biased towards specific POI category pairs compared to null network models. The business relationships on the dependency network predict business resilience during shocks, such as COVID-19, compared to distance-based spatial networks. We further simulate the propagation of changes in visits to POIs under hypothetical external shock scenarios, such as school closures, tele-health, and increased e-commerce, via network simulations. This study proposes a novel method to leverage human mobility data to better understand the resilience of economic networks and may be applied to various urban shocks including natural hazards, novel technology, and urban policies and investments.
Bio | Takahiro Yabe is a Postdoctoral Associate at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) and Media Lab, working with Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland and Professor Esteban Moro. Taka’s research focuses on the interplay between collective human behavior and urban infrastructure systems to make cities more inclusive and resilient to disasters and shocks. He obtained his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2021, MS and BS from The University of Tokyo in 2017 and 2015, respectively. Taka has also worked as a Data Science Consultant for the World Bank, where he developed data science toolkits for disaster risk management and resilient urban transport. He is an incoming Assistant Professor at New York University, Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) from January 2024.