So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

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Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:42 pm

Just scanning your questions, I am fairly certain that some/many answers are proprietary and Waze will never tell us.
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Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby dmcconachie » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:16 pm

I'm afraid you won't get quite the level of detail that I fear you feel you need. In reality your confidence in the app will grow as you use it.

mattlach wrote:1.) Does the client use only real time data, or does it also use historic data to predict current traffic conditions for roads that are not as frequently traveled?

Real Time > Average > Estimate per road type. Preference for real time obviously but moving down the curve depending on what's available.

2.) How is real time traffic data accumulated and reported to the client so it can choose how to avoid it? What algorithms are used? How often is data sampled? Once a second? Once a minute? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls of this method.

You will never discover the algorithms that are used - these are kept secret in Waze HQ. Data is uploaded often enough though, does it really matter if it's once a second or once a minute?

3.) If data is trended and forecast where real time data does not exist, what algorithms are used, what data is included, what data is excluded? and how does it all make its way from the reporting clients to the Waze trending database and then out to the navigating client? What are the benefits and shortcomings here?

Again, these are details you'll never know.

4.) How are reports of traffic assessed? Standstill is easier to understand, but what about moderate and heavy? Do they have an approximate speed value associated with them? Are they factored into the traffic algorithms for other clients to navigate, or are they just FYI, leaving actual vehicle movement data to take care of this?

There are two types of report, manual and automatic - manual reports (by the driver) are aesthetic only, they have no bearing on routing. Automatic reports do affect routing and are based on the speed that a wazer traverses a given segment compared to the average time a wazer takes to travel that segment. Averages are broken down into timeslots with increasing granularity for more travelled routes.

5.) How is data reported from the client to Waze? Is it real time? Is it based on periodic polling? Does it report once at the completion of every length of road between two points? Does it wait until the end of the drive and report all at once?

My best guess is a combination, ie definitely at the end of each segment but also periodically for longer segments. Finer details are surely unimportant?

6.) What happens if you lose data connection? As far as:
a) Navigation is concerned

Navigation will probably continue if it is an often travelled route by you and the app has cached the necessary tiles.
b) Reporting is Concerned

Reporting is not possible. Obviously not in real-time but also no cache is kept either.

7.) If there is no data connection and the client or phone is shut off, does the client keep a local cache and report data when it is turned back on?

Travelled routes, I think so. Reports, as above no.

8.) How does the client/database determine the difference between a client sitting still intentionally and a client stuck in traffic? There has to be some sort of rule set to determine this, as if it reported any still client as stuck in traffic the entire system would be chaotic useless. Presumably, once the parking space button is pressed, no more traffic data is reported, until more movement is reported. Presumably, also, if a client is turned on, no traffic data is reported, until it sees movement, but are there other rules as well? We users need to know these things so we can be conscientious and not pollute the system with fake results.

There are some algorithms to determine if a car is truly in traffic or not but they are unreliable. In truth a sole car parked with the app on will likely cause a traffic report but if/when another wazer passes this report will be overruled.

Only when I understand the answers to questions like these do I feel comfortable enough to trust wave to direct me a different route than I normally drive to avoid traffic, and know what its shortcomings are so I can choose to ignore it when I know better.

Little I, or anyone else, will write here will give you this level of confidence. As I said above, that will come from using the app, learning how accurate the map is and getting a feel for the number of wazers in your area.
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Re: Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby dmcconachie » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:36 pm

gerben wrote:so spare your time if you have decided to hack the routing mechanism in the client.

Oh the irony.

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Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby gerben » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:54 pm

Also, not clear from Darrens answers, it is good to know that the client has only a very simple routing mechanism built in. This one does NOT consider real time traffic, only known averages from the last map update for segments already in the clients cache. It is only used when there is no network connectivity during the route calculation.

The sophisticated routing calculations with real time speeds are done online, so spare your time if you have decided to hack the routing mechanism in the client.
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So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby mattlach » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:27 pm

Hey all,

Maybe it's because I'm an Engineer, but I never trust anything I don't understand the inner workings of, which has made it difficult to trust Waze's recommendations for which routes to choose in order to avoid traffic.

I have been searching for DETAILED information regarding the client, and its behaviors, but found it very lacking.

Does anyone know if information like the following is documented anywhere?

1.) Does the client use only real time data, or does it also use historic data to predict current traffic conditions for roads that are not as frequently traveled?

2.) How is real time traffic data accumulated and reported to the client so it can choose how to avoid it? What algorithms are used? How often is data sampled? Once a second? Once a minute? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls of this method.

3.) If data is trended and forecast where real time data does not exist, what algorithms are used, what data is included, what data is excluded? and how does it all make its way from the reporting clients to the Waze trending database and then out to the navigating client? What are the benefits and shortcomings here?

4.) How are reports of traffic assessed? Standstill is easier to understand, but what about moderate and heavy? Do they have an approximate speed value associated with them? Are they factored into the traffic algorithms for other clients to navigate, or are they just FYI, leaving actual vehicle movement data to take care of this?

5.) How is data reported from the client to Waze? Is it real time? Is it based on periodic polling? Does it report once at the completion of every length of road between two points? Does it wait until the end of the drive and report all at once?

6.) What happens if you lose data connection? As far as:
a) Navigation is concerned
b) Reporting is Concerned

7.) If there is no data connection and the client or phone is shut off, does the client keep a local cache and report data when it is turned back on?

8.) How does the client/database determine the difference between a client sitting still intentionally and a client stuck in traffic? There has to be some sort of rule set to determine this, as if it reported any still client as stuck in traffic the entire system would be chaotic useless. Presumably, once the parking space button is pressed, no more traffic data is reported, until more movement is reported. Presumably, also, if a client is turned on, no traffic data is reported, until it sees movement, but are there other rules as well? We users need to know these things so we can be conscientious and not pollute the system with fake results.

This is just a start, I can think of many more questions, none of which I found in the wiki manual, or in any of the instructional videos.

Only when I understand the answers to questions like these do I feel comfortable enough to trust wave to direct me a different route than I normally drive to avoid traffic, and know what its shortcomings are so I can choose to ignore it when I know better.

After all, the devil's in the details!
Last edited by mattlach on Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby mattlach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:28 pm

dmcconachie wrote:I'm afraid you won't get quite the level of detail that I fear you feel you need. In reality your confidence in the app will grow as you use it.

mattlach wrote:1.) Does the client use only real time data, or does it also use historic data to predict current traffic conditions for roads that are not as frequently traveled?

Real Time > Average > Estimate per road type. Preference for real time obviously but moving down the curve depending on what's available.

2.) How is real time traffic data accumulated and reported to the client so it can choose how to avoid it? What algorithms are used? How often is data sampled? Once a second? Once a minute? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls of this method.

You will never discover the algorithms that are used - these are kept secret in Waze HQ. Data is uploaded often enough though, does it really matter if it's once a second or once a minute?

3.) If data is trended and forecast where real time data does not exist, what algorithms are used, what data is included, what data is excluded? and how does it all make its way from the reporting clients to the Waze trending database and then out to the navigating client? What are the benefits and shortcomings here?

Again, these are details you'll never know.

4.) How are reports of traffic assessed? Standstill is easier to understand, but what about moderate and heavy? Do they have an approximate speed value associated with them? Are they factored into the traffic algorithms for other clients to navigate, or are they just FYI, leaving actual vehicle movement data to take care of this?

There are two types of report, manual and automatic - manual reports (by the driver) are aesthetic only, they have no bearing on routing. Automatic reports do affect routing and are based on the speed that a wazer traverses a given segment compared to the average time a wazer takes to travel that segment. Averages are broken down into timeslots with increasing granularity for more travelled routes.

5.) How is data reported from the client to Waze? Is it real time? Is it based on periodic polling? Does it report once at the completion of every length of road between two points? Does it wait until the end of the drive and report all at once?

My best guess is a combination, ie definitely at the end of each segment but also periodically for longer segments. Finer details are surely unimportant?

6.) What happens if you lose data connection? As far as:
a) Navigation is concerned

Navigation will probably continue if it is an often travelled route by you and the app has cached the necessary tiles.
b) Reporting is Concerned

Reporting is not possible. Obviously not in real-time but also no cache is kept either.

7.) If there is no data connection and the client or phone is shut off, does the client keep a local cache and report data when it is turned back on?

Travelled routes, I think so. Reports, as above no.

8.) How does the client/database determine the difference between a client sitting still intentionally and a client stuck in traffic? There has to be some sort of rule set to determine this, as if it reported any still client as stuck in traffic the entire system would be chaotic useless. Presumably, once the parking space button is pressed, no more traffic data is reported, until more movement is reported. Presumably, also, if a client is turned on, no traffic data is reported, until it sees movement, but are there other rules as well? We users need to know these things so we can be conscientious and not pollute the system with fake results.

There are some algorithms to determine if a car is truly in traffic or not but they are unreliable. In truth a sole car parked with the app on will likely cause a traffic report but if/when another wazer passes this report will be overruled.

Only when I understand the answers to questions like these do I feel comfortable enough to trust wave to direct me a different route than I normally drive to avoid traffic, and know what its shortcomings are so I can choose to ignore it when I know better.

Little I, or anyone else, will write here will give you this level of confidence. As I said above, that will come from using the app, learning how accurate the map is and getting a feel for the number of wazers in your area.


Thank you for your responses.

I didn't even consider the aspects of confidentiality. I am used to dealing exclusively with open source projects, and this level of isolation from the nitty gritty details is a somewhat isolating experience compared to what I ma used to.

I guess I sometimes forget commercial software exists at all :p

Your answers do help a little bit though. Thank you!
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Re: So, how do the DETAILS work? Need MUCH more detail!

Postby mattlach » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:37 pm

gerben wrote:Also, not clear from Darrens answers, it is good to know that the client has only a very simple routing mechanism built in. This one does NOT consider real time traffic, only known averages from the last map update for segments already in the clients cache. It is only used when there is no network connectivity during the route calculation.

The sophisticated routing calculations with real time speeds are done online, so spare your time if you have decided to hack the routing mechanism in the client.


Thanks for the clarification, No intention here of reverse engineering or hacking anything. ( I wouldn't have the knowledge of how to do it anyway)

I just like to know how the things I use work. I hate using "black boxes".
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