Bayesian inference of traffic volumes based on Bluetooth data

Nantes, Alfredo, Billot, Romain, Miska, Marc, & Chung, Edward (2013) Bayesian inference of traffic volumes based on Bluetooth data. In Transportation Research Board (TRB) 92nd Annual Meeting, 13-17 January 2013, Washington, DC.


The study of the relationship between macroscopic traffic parameters, such as flow, speed and travel time, is essential to the understanding of the behaviour of freeway and arterial roads. However, the temporal dynamics of these parameters are difficult to model, especially for arterial roads, where the process of traffic change is driven by a variety of variables. The introduction of the Bluetooth technology into the transportation area has proven exceptionally useful for monitoring vehicular traffic, as it allows reliable estimation of travel times and traffic demands.

In this work, we propose an approach based on Bayesian networks for analyzing and predicting the complex dynamics of flow or volume, based on travel time observations from Bluetooth sensors. The spatio-temporal relationship between volume and travel time is captured through a first-order transition model, and a univariate Gaussian sensor model. The two models are trained and tested on travel time and volume data, from an arterial link, collected over a period of six days. To reduce the computational costs of the inference tasks, volume is converted into a discrete variable. The discretization process is carried out through a Self-Organizing Map.

Preliminary results show that a simple Bayesian network can effectively estimate and predict the complex temporal dynamics of arterial volumes from the travel time data. Not only is the model well suited to produce posterior distributions over single past, current and future states; but it also allows computing the estimations of joint distributions, over sequences of states. Furthermore, the Bayesian network can achieve excellent prediction, even when the stream of travel time observation is partially incomplete.

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ID Code: 66802
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400) > Stochastic Analysis and Modelling (010406)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Research Centres > Smart Transport Research Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 03 Feb 2014 01:14
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2014 11:25

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