Freeway Travel Time Estimation and Prediction Using Dynamic Neural Networks Dissertation

(2008). Freeway Travel Time Estimation and Prediction Using Dynamic Neural Networks . 10.25148/etd.FI08121916

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Shen, Luou


  • Providing transportation system operators and travelers with accurate travel time information allows them to make more informed decisions, yielding benefits for individual travelers and for the entire transportation system. Most existing advanced traveler information systems (ATIS) and advanced traffic management systems (ATMS) use instantaneous travel time values estimated based on the current measurements, assuming that traffic conditions remain constant in the near future. For more effective applications, it has been proposed that ATIS and ATMS should use travel times predicted for short-term future conditions rather than instantaneous travel times measured or estimated for current conditions. This dissertation research investigates short-term freeway travel time prediction using Dynamic Neural Networks (DNN) based on traffic detector data collected by radar traffic detectors installed along a freeway corridor. DNN comprises a class of neural networks that are particularly suitable for predicting variables like travel time, but has not been adequately investigated for this purpose. Before this investigation, it was necessary to identifying methods for data imputation to account for missing data usually encountered when collecting data using traffic detectors. It was also necessary to identify a method to estimate the travel time on the freeway corridor based on data collected using point traffic detectors. A new travel time estimation method referred to as the Piecewise Constant Acceleration Based (PCAB) method was developed and compared with other methods reported in the literatures. The results show that one of the simple travel time estimation methods (the average speed method) can work as well as the PCAB method, and both of them out-perform other methods. This study also compared the travel time prediction performance of three different DNN topologies with different memory setups. The results show that one DNN topology (the time-delay neural networks) out-performs the other two DNN topologies for the investigated prediction problem. This topology also performs slightly better than the simple multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network topology that has been used in a number of previous studies for travel time prediction.

publication date

  • July 16, 2008


  • Dynamic Neural Networks
  • Intelligent Transportation System
  • Traffic Detector
  • Trajectory Method
  • Travel Time Estimation
  • Travel Time Prediction

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)