Comparative Evaluation of Tree-Based Ensemble Algorithms for Short-Term Travel Time Prediction

by   Saleh Mousa, et al.

Disseminating accurate travel time information to road users helps achieve traffic equilibrium and reduce traffic congestion. The deployment of Connected Vehicles technology will provide unique opportunities for the implementation of travel time prediction models. The aim of this study is twofold: (1) estimate travel times in the freeway network at five-minute intervals using Basic Safety Messages (BSM); (2) develop an eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGB) model for short-term travel time prediction on freeways. The XGB tree-based ensemble prediction model is evaluated against common tree-based ensemble algorithms and the evaluations are performed at five-minute intervals over a 30-minute horizon. BSMs generated by the Safety Pilot Model Deployment conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan, were used. Nearly two billion messages were processed for providing travel time estimates for the entire freeway network. A Combination of grid search and five-fold cross-validation techniques using the travel time estimates were used for developing the prediction models and tuning their parameters. About 9.6 km freeway stretch was used for evaluating the XGB together with the most common tree-based ensemble algorithms. The results show that XGB is superior to all other algorithms, followed by the Gradient Boosting. XGB travel time predictions were accurate and consistent with variations during peak periods, with mean absolute percentage error in prediction about 5.9 respectively. Additionally, through applying the developed models to another 4.7 km stretch along the eastbound segment of M-14, the XGB demonstrated its considerable advantages in travel time prediction during congested and uncongested conditions.


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