we propose that the predictability in human mobility is a state and not a static trait of individuals. First, we show that time (of the week) explains people’s whereabouts more than the sequences of locations they visit. Then, we show that not only does predictability depend on time but also the type of activity an individual is engaged in, thus establishing the importance of contexts in human mobility..
The scientific analysis of the regularities observed in individual and collective human movement trajectories is of fundamental relevance to a wide range of areas urban planning, the prevention of epidemics, and natural security issues such as detection of clandestine activity, to name but a few. The ubiquity of mobile phones and location-based social media has enabled the capture of comprehensive, time-resolved individual information, offering a unique opportunity to observe human activity on an unprecedented scale. Indeed, recent theoretical developments suggest that a perfect algorithm can predict a person's whereabouts with almost 90% certainty, given past observations of their location visits. Yet, major gaps remain in our understanding of human mobility dynamics.