Statistical modelling and analysis of traffic: a dynamic approach
2012-03-01T12:48:13Z (GMT) by
In both developed and emerging-economies, major cities continue to experience increasing traffic congestion. To address this issue, complex Traffic Management Systems (TMS) are employed in recent years to help manage traffic. These systems fuse traffic-surveillance-related information from a variety of sensors deployed across traffic networks. A TMS requires real-time information to make effective control decisions and to deliver trustworthy information to users, such as travel time, congestion level, etc. There are three fundamental inputs required by TMS, namely, traffic volume, vehicular speed, and traffic density. Using conventional traffic loop detectors one can directly measure flow and velocity. However, traffic density is more difficult to measure. The situation becomes more difficult for multi-lane motorways due to drivers lane-change behaviour. This research investigates statistical modelling and analysis of traffic flow. It contributes to the literature of transportation and traffic management and research in several aspects. First, it takes into account lane-changes in traffic modelling through incorporating a Markov chain model to describe the drivers lane-change behaviour. Secondly, the lane change probabilities between two adjacent lanes are not assumed to be fixed but rather they depend on the current traffic condition. A discrete choice model is used to capture drivers lane choice behaviour. The drivers choice probabilities are modelled by several traffic-condition related attributes such as vehicle time headway, traffic density and speed. This results in a highly nonlinear state equation for traffic density. To address the issue of high nonlinearity of the state space model, the EKF and UKF is used to estimate the traffic density recursively. In addition, a new transformation approach has been proposed to transform the observation equation from a nonlinear form to a linear one so that the potential approximation in the EKF & UKF can be avoided. Numerical studies have been conducted to investigate the performance of the developed method. The proposed method outperformed the existing methods for traffic density estimation in simulation studies. Furthermore, it is shown that the computational cost for updating the estimate of traffic densities for a multi-lane motorway is kept at a minimum so that online applications are feasible in practice. Consequently the traffic densities can be monitored and the relevant information can be fed into the traffic management system of interest.