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Carpooling: travelers’ perceptions from a big data analysis

Maria Vincenza Ciasullo (Department of Business Science – Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy)
Orlando Troisi (Department of Business Science – Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy)
Francesca Loia (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Gennaro Maione (Department of Business Science – Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 10 April 2018

Issue publication date: 23 July 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the reasons why people use or do not use carpooling. A further aim is to collect and analyze empirical evidence concerning the advantages and disadvantages of carpooling.

Design/methodology/approach

A large-scale text analytics study has been conducted: the collection of the peoples’ opinions have been realized on Twitter by means of a dedicated web crawler, named “Twitter4J.” After their mining, the collected data have been treated through a sentiment analysis realized by means of “SentiWordNet.”

Findings

The big data analysis identified the 12 most frequently used concepts about carpooling by Twitter’s users: seven advantages (economic efficiency, environmental efficiency, comfort, traffic, socialization, reliability, curiosity) and five disadvantages (lack of effectiveness, lack of flexibility, lack of privacy, danger, lack of trust).

Research limitations/implications

Although the sample is particularly large (10 percent of the data flow published on Twitter from all over the world in about one year), the automated collection of people’s comments has prevented a more in-depth analysis of users’ thoughts and opinions.

Practical implications

The research findings may direct entrepreneurs, managers and policy makers to understand the variables to be leveraged and the actions to be taken to take advantage of the potential benefits that carpooling offers.

Originality/value

The work has utilized skills from three different areas, i.e., business management, computing science and statistics, which have been synergistically integrated for customizing, implementing and using two IT tools capable of automatically identifying, selecting, collecting, categorizing and analyzing people’s tweets about carpooling.

Keywords

Citation

Ciasullo, M.V., Troisi, O., Loia, F. and Maione, G. (2018), "Carpooling: travelers’ perceptions from a big data analysis", The TQM Journal, Vol. 30 No. 5, pp. 554-571. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-11-2017-0156

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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