Incorporating weather information into real-time speed estimates: comparison of alternative models

Thakuriah, P. and Tilahun, N. (2013) Incorporating weather information into real-time speed estimates: comparison of alternative models. Journal of Transportation Engineering, 139(4), pp. 379-389. (doi:10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.0000506)

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Abstract

Weather information is frequently requested by travelers. Prior literature indicates that inclement weather is one of the most important factors contributing to traffic congestion and crashes. In this paper, we propose a methodology to use real-time weather information to predict future speeds. The reason for doing so is to ultimately have the capability to disseminate weather-responsive travel time estimates to those requesting information. Using a stratified sampling technique, we select cases with different weather conditions (precipitation levels) and use a linear regression model (called the base model) and a statistical learning model (using Support Vector Machines for Regression) to predict 30-minute ahead speeds. One of the major inputs into a weather-responsive short-term speed prediction method is weather forecasts; however, weather forecasts may themselves be inaccurate. We assess the effects of such inaccuracies by means of simulations. The predictive accuracy of the SVR models show that statistical learning methods may be useful in bringing together streaming forecasted weather data and real-time information on downstream traffic conditions to enable travelers to make informed choices.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thakuriah, Professor Vonu
Authors: Thakuriah, P., and Tilahun, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Transportation Engineering
Journal Abbr.:JTE
Publisher:American Society of Civil Engineers
ISSN:0733-947X
ISSN (Online):1943-5436
Published Online:01 October 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers
First Published:First published in Journal of Transportation Engineering
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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