Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, CARMA 2020 - 3rd International Conference on Advanced Research Methods and Analytics

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Extracting User Behavior at Electric Vehicle Charging Stations with Transformer Deep Learning Models
Daniel J Marchetto, Sooji Ha, Sameer Dharur, Omar Isaac Asensio

Last modified: 11-05-2020


Mobile applications have become widely popular for their ability to access real-time information. In electric vehicle (EV) mobility, these applications are used by drivers to locate charging stations in public spaces, pay for charging transactions, and engage with other users. This activity generates a rich source of data about charging infrastructure and behavior. However, an increasing share of this data is stored as unstructured text—inhibiting our ability to interpret behavior in real-time. In this article, we implement recent transformer-based deep learning algorithms, BERT and XLnet, that have been tailored to automatically classify short user reviews about EV charging experiences. We achieve classification results with a mean accuracy of over 91% and a mean F1 score of over 0.81 allowing for more precise detection of topic categories, even in the presence of highly imbalanced data. Using these classification algorithms as a pre-processing step, we analyze a U.S. national dataset with econometric methods to discover the dominant topics of discourse in charging infrastructure. After adjusting for station characteristics and other factors, we find that the functionality of a charging station is the dominant topic among EV drivers and is more likely to be discussed at points-of-interest with negative user experiences.

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