Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Mei Chen


Probe speed data are widely used to calculate performance measures for quantifying state-wide traffic conditions. Estimation of the accurate performance measures requires adequate speed data observations. However, probe vehicles reporting the speed data may not be available all the time on each road segment. Agencies need to develop a good understanding of the adequacy of these reported data before using them in different transportation applications. This study attempts to systematically assess the quality of the probe data by proposing a method, which determines the minimum sample rate for checking data adequacy. The minimum sample rate is defined as the minimum required speed data for a segment ensuring the speed estimates within a defined error range. The proposed method adopts a bootstrapping approach to determine the minimum sample rate within a pre-defined acceptance level. After applying the method to the speed data, the results from the analysis show a minimum sample rate of 10% for Kentucky’s roads. This cut-off value for Kentucky’s roads helps to identify the segments where the availability is greater than the minimum sample rate. This study also shows two applications of the minimum sample rates resulted from the bootstrapping. Firstly, the results are utilized to identify the geometric and operational factors that contribute to the minimum sample rate of a facility. Using random forests regression model as a tool, functional class, section length, and speed limit are found to be the significant variables for uninterrupted facility. Contrarily, for interrupted facility, signal density, section length, speed limit, and intersection density are the significant variables. Lastly, the speed data associated with the segments are applied to improve Free Flow Speed estimation by the traditional model.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)