Baidu develops algorithm to predict crowds, avoid stampedes

Chinese search engine giant Baidu has developed a machine-learning algorithm that predicts whether crowds are likely to form at certain locations in two hours, which could be used to prevent stampedes.The algorithm uses data from Baidu’s map app, said a research report published by Baidu’s Big Data Lab Tuesday, studying the number of map queries and the number of users in an area.Its map app accounts for over 70 per cent of China’s mapping services market, the company’s user statistics show. Many Chinese users often search for an ideal travel route using Baidu Maps.The lab began to concentrate on how to predict crowds in certain areas following the Shanghai stampede on New Year’s Eve in Dec 2014, where 36 people were killed during celebrations on the Bund riverfront, according to…


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