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Estimating Urban Traffic Patterns through Probabilistic Interconnectivity of Road Network Junctions

Manley, E; (2015) Estimating Urban Traffic Patterns through Probabilistic Interconnectivity of Road Network Junctions. PLOS ONE , 10 (5) , Article e0127095. 10.1371/journal.pone.0127095. Green open access

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Abstract

The emergence of large, fine-grained mobility datasets offers significant opportunities for the development and application of new methodologies for transportation analysis. In this paper, the link between routing behaviour and traffic patterns in urban areas is examined, introducing a method to derive estimates of traffic patterns from a large collection of fine-grained routing data. Using this dataset, the interconnectivity between road network junctions is extracted in the form of a Markov chain. This representation encodes the probability of the successive usage of adjacent road junctions, encoding routes as flows between decision points rather than flows along road segments. This network of functional interactions is then integrated within a modified Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework, adapted for the estimation of urban traffic patterns. As part of this approach, the data-derived links between major junctions influence the movement of directed random walks executed across the network to model origin-destination journeys. The simulation process yields estimates of traffic distribution across the road network. The paper presents an implementation of the modified MCMC approach for London, United Kingdom, building an MCMC model based on a dataset of nearly 700000 minicab routes. Validation of the approach clarifies how each element of the MCMC framework contributes to junction prediction performance, and finds promising results in relation to the estimation of junction choice and minicab traffic distribution. The paper concludes by summarising the potential for the development and extension of this approach to the wider urban modelling domain.

Type: Article
Title: Estimating Urban Traffic Patterns through Probabilistic Interconnectivity of Road Network Junctions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127095
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127095
Additional information: © 2015 Ed Manley. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468935
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