We propose a statistical learning-based traffic speed estimation method that uses sparse vehicle trajectory information. Using a convolutional encoder-decoder based architecture, we show that a well trained neural network can learn spatio-temporal traffic speed dynamics from time-space diagrams. We demonstrate this for a homogeneous road section using simulated vehicle trajectories and then validate it using real-world data from NGSIM. Our results show that with probe vehicle penetration levels as low as 5\%, the proposed estimation method can provide a sound reconstruction of macroscopic traffic speeds and reproduce realistic shockwave patterns, implying applicability in a variety of traffic conditions. We further discuss the model's reconstruction mechanisms and confirm its ability to differentiate various traffic behaviors such as congested and free-flow traffic states, transition dynamics, and shockwave propagation.
This paper focuses on the problem of estimating historical traffic volumes between sparsely-located traffic sensors, which transportation agencies need to accurately compute statewide performance measures. To this end, the paper examines applications of vehicle probe data, automatic traffic recorder counts, and neural network models to estimate hourly volumes in the Maryland highway network, and proposes a novel approach that combines neural networks with an existing profiling method. On average, the proposed approach yields 26% more accurate estimates than volume profiles, which are currently used by transportation agencies across the US to compute statewide performance measures. The paper also quantifies the value of using vehicle probe data in estimating hourly traffic volumes, which provides important managerial insights to transportation agencies interested in acquiring this type of data. For example, results show that volumes can be estimated with a mean absolute percent error of about 20% at locations where average number of observed probes is between 30 and 47 vehicles/hr, which provides a useful guideline for assessing the value of probe vehicle data from different vendors.
Predicting travel times of vehicles in urban settings is a useful and tangible quantity of interest in the context of intelligent transportation systems. We address the problem of travel time prediction in arterial roads using data sampled from probe vehicles. There is only a limited literature on methods using data input from probe vehicles. The spatio-temporal dependencies captured by existing data driven approaches are either too detailed or very simplistic. We strike a balance of the existing data driven approaches to account for varying degrees of influence a given road may experience from its neighbors, while controlling the number of parameters to be learnt. Specifically, we use a NoisyOR conditional probability distribution (CPD) in conjunction with a dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) to model state transitions of various roads. We propose an efficient algorithm to learn model parameters. We also propose an algorithm for predicting travel times on trips of arbitrary durations. Using synthetic and real world data traces we demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed method under different traffic conditions.
We address two shortcomings in online travel time estimation methods for congested urban traffic. The first shortcoming is related to the determination of the number of mixture modes, which can change dynamically, within day and from day to day. The second shortcoming is the wide-spread use of Gaussian probability densities as mixture components. Gaussian densities fail to capture the positive skew in travel time distributions and, consequently, large numbers of mixture components are needed for reasonable fitting accuracy when applied as mixture components. They also assign positive probabilities to negative travel times. To address these issues, this paper develops a mixture distribution with asymmetric components supported on the positive numbers. We use sparse estimation techniques to ensure parsimonious models. Specifically, we derive a novel generalization of Gamma mixture densities using Mittag-Leffler functions, which provides enhanced fitting flexibility and improved parsimony. In order to accommodate within-day variability and allow for online implementation of the proposed methodology (i.e., fast computations on streaming travel time data), we introduce a recursive algorithm which efficiently updates the fitted distribution whenever new data become available. Experimental results using real-world travel time data illustrate the efficacy of the proposed methods.
This paper considers applications of trajectory data in transportation, and makes two primary contributions. First, it provides a comprehensive literature review detailing ways in which trajectory data has been used for transportation systems analysis, distilling existing research into the following six areas: demand estimation, modeling human behavior, designing public transit, measuring and predicting traffic performance, quantifying environmental impact, and safety analysis. Additionally, it presents innovative applications of trajectory data for the state of Maryland, employing visualization and machine learning techniques to extract value from 20 million GPS traces. These visual analytics will be implemented in the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), which provides free data sharing and visual analytics tools to help transportation agencies attain situational awareness, evaluate performance, and share insights with the public.