Real-time estimation of arterial performance measures using a data-driven microscopic traffic simulation technique
Henclewood, Dwayne Anthony
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Traffic congestion is a one hundred billion dollar problem in the US. The cost of congestion has been trending upward over the last few decades, but has experienced slight decreases in recent years partly due to the impact of congestion reduction strategies. The impact of these strategies is however largely experienced on freeways and not arterials. This discrepancy in impact is partially linked to the lack of real-time, arterial traffic information. Toward this end, this research effort seeks to address the lack of arterial traffic information. To address this dearth of information, this effort developed a methodology to provide accurate estimates of arterial performance measures to transportation facility managers and travelers in real-time. This methodology employs transmitted point sensor data to drive an online, microscopic traffic simulation model. The feasibility of this methodology was examined through a series of experiments that were built upon the successes of the previous, while addressing the necessary limitations. The results from each experiment were encouraging. They successfully demonstrated the method's likely feasibility, and the accuracy with which field estimates of performance measures may be obtained. In addition, the method's results support the viability of a "real-world" implementation of the method. An advanced calibration process was also developed as a means of improving the method's accuracy. This process will in turn serve to inform future calibration efforts as the need for more robust and accurate traffic simulation models are needed. The success of this method provides a template for real-time traffic simulation modeling which is capable of adequately addressing the lack of available arterial traffic information. In providing such information, it is hoped that transportation facility managers and travelers will make more informed decisions regarding more efficient management and usage of the nation's transportation network.