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600451-00033-1 Dissertation Abstract

Link Travel Time Estimation Based on Network Entry/Exit Time Stamps of Trips

Wen Wang, December 2015

This dissertation studies the travel time estimation at roadway link level using entry/exit time stamps of trips on a steady-state transportation network. We propose two inference methods based on the likelihood principle, assuming each link associates with a random travel time. The first method considers independent and Gaussian distributed link travel times, using the additive property that trip time has a closed-form distribution as the summation of link travel times. We particularly analyze the mean estimates when the variances of trip time estimates are known with a high degree of precision and examine the uniqueness of solutions. Two cases are discussed in detail: one with known paths of all trips and the other with unknown paths of some trips. We apply the Gaussian mixture model and the Expectation- Maximization (EM) algorithm to deal with the latter. The second method splits trip time proportionally among links traversed to deal with more general link travel time distributions such as log-normal. This approach builds upon an expected log-likelihood function which naturally leads to an iterative procedure analogous to the EM algorithm for solutions. Simulation tests on a simple nine-link network and on the Sioux Falls network respectively indicate that the two methods both perform well. The second method (i.e., trip splitting approximation) generally runs faster but with larger errors of estimated standard deviations of link travel times.

Keywords: Travel Time Estimation, Gaussian Distribution, Traffic, Mobility, Network Efficiency

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