Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Mei Chen

Second Advisor

Nick Stamatiadis

Abstract

The accurate estimation of travel time is valuable for a variety of transportation applications such as freeway performance evaluation and real-time traveler information. Given the extensive availability of traffic data collected by intelligent transportation systems, a variety of travel time estimation methods have been developed. Despite limited success under light traffic conditions, traditional corridor travel time prediction methods have suffered various drawbacks. First, most of these methods are developed based on data generated by dual-loop detectors that contain average spot speeds. However, single-loop detectors (and other devices that emulate its operation) are the most commonly used devices in traffic monitoring systems. There has not been a reliable methodology for travel time prediction based on data generated by such devices due to the lack of speed measurements. Moreover, the majority of existing studies focus on travel time estimation. Secondly, the effect of traffic progression along the freeway has not been considered in the travel time prediction process. Moreover, the impact of incidents on travel time estimates has not been effectively accounted for in existing studies.The objective of this dissertation is to develop a methodology for dynamic travel time prediction based on continuous data generated by single-loop detectors (and similar devices) and incident reports generated by the traffic monitoring system. This method involves multiple-step-ahead prediction for flow rate and occupancy in real time. A seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model is developed with an embedded adaptive predictor. This predictor adjusts the prediction error based on traffic data that becomes available every five minutes at each station. The impact of incidents is evaluated based on estimates of incident duration and the queue incurred.Tests and comparative analyses show that this method is able to capture the real-time characteristics of the traffic and provide more accurate travel time estimates particularly when incidents occur. The sensitivities of the models to the variations of the flow and occupancy data are analyzed and future research has been identified.The potential of this methodology in dealing with less than perfect data sources has been demonstrated. This provides good opportunity for the wide application of the proposed method since single-loop type detectors are most extensively installed in various intelligent transportation system deployments.

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