An Approach to Dynamic Classification of Traffic Flow Patterns

Hilmi Berk Celikoglu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Analyses on the dynamics of traffic flow, ranging from intersection flows to network-wide flow propagation, require accurate information on time-varying local traffic flows. To effectively determine the flow performance measures and consequently the congestion indicators of segmented road pieces, the ability to process such data in real time is out of the question. In this article, a dynamic approach to specify flow pattern variations is proposed mainly concentrating on the incorporation of neural network theory to provide real-time mapping for traffic density simultaneously in conjunction with a macroscopic traffic flow model. To deal with the noise and the wide scatter of raw flow measures, a filtering is applied prior to modeling processes. Filtered data are dynamically and simultaneously input to processes of neural density mapping and traffic flow modeling. The classification of flow patterns over the fundamental diagram, which is dynamically plotted with the outputs of the flow modeling subprocess, is obtained by considering the density measure as a pattern indicator. Densities are mapped by selected neural approximation method for each simulation time step considering explicitly the flow conservation principle. Simultaneously, mapped densities are matched over the fundamental diagram to specify the current corresponding flow pattern. The approach is promising in capturing sudden changes on flow patterns and is open to be utilized within a series of intelligent management strategies including especially nonrecurrent congestion effect detection and control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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