The study of human mobility is both of fundamental importance and of great potential value. For example, it can be leveraged to facilitate efficient city planning and improve prevention strategies when faced with epidemics. The newfound wealth of rich sources of data---including banknote flows, mobile phone records, and transportation data---have led to an explosion of attempts to characterize modern human mobility. Unfortunately, the dearth of comparable historical data makes it much more difficult to study human mobility patterns from the past. In this paper, we present such an analysis: we demonstrate that the data record from Korean family books (called "jokbo") can be used to estimate migration patterns via marriages from the past 750 years. We apply two generative models of long-term human mobility to quantify the relevance of geographical information to human marriage records in the data. Using the different geographic distributions of clans, we quantify the "ergodicity" of clans in terms of how widely and uniformly they have spread across Korea, and we compare these results to those obtained using surname data from the Czech Republic. Based on the correlation between ergodicity and migration patterns in Korea, we identify two different types of migration patterns: diffusive and convective.
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match: migration of populations via marriages in the past
Sang Hoon Lee, Robyn Ffrancon, Daniel M. Abrams, Beom Jun Kim, Mason A. Porter