Forecasting multiple-period freeway link travel times using modular neural networks

Dongjoo Park, Laurence R. Rilett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Scopus citations


With the advent of route guidance systems (RGS), the prediction of short-term link travel times has become increasingly important. For RGS to be successful, the calculated routes should be based on not only historical and real-time link travel time information but also anticipatory link travel time information. An examination is conducted on how real-time information gathered as part of intelligent transportation systems can be used to predict link travel times for one through five time periods (of 5 minutes' duration). The methodology developed consists of two steps. First, the historical link travel times are classified based on an unsupervised clustering technique. Second, an individual or modular artificial neural network (ANN) is calibrated for each class, and each modular ANN is then used to predict link travel times. Actual link travel times from Houston, Texas, collected as part of the automatic vehicle identification system of the Houston Transtar system were used as a test bed. It was found that the modular ANN outperformed a conventional singular ANN. The results of the best modular ANN were compared with existing link travel time techniques, including a Kalman filtering model, an exponential smoothing model, a historical profile, and a real-time profile, and it was found that the modular ANN gave the best overall results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1617
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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