Journal article

Queue Profile Estimation in Congested Urban Networks with Probe Data

Queues at signalized intersections are the main cause of traffic delays and travel time variability in urban networks. In this article, we propose a method to estimate queue profiles that are traffic shockwave polygons in the time-space plane describing the spatiotemporal formation and dissipation of queues. The method integrates the collective effect of dispersed probe vehicle data with traffic flow shockwave analysis and data mining techniques. The proposed queue profile estimation method requires position and velocity data of probe vehicles; however, any explicit information of signal settings and arrival distribution is indispensable. Moreover, the method captures interdependencies in queue evolutions of successive intersections. The significance of the proposed method is that it is applicable in oversaturated conditions and includes queue spillover identification. Numerical results of simulation experiments and tests on NGSIM field data, with various penetration rates and sampling intervals, reveal the promising and robust performance of the proposed method compared with a uniform arrival queue estimation procedure. The method provides a thorough understanding of urban traffic flow dynamics and has direct applications for delay analysis, queue length estimation, signal settings estimation, and vehicle trajectory reconstruction.

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