A robust and efficient method for fusing heterogeneous data from traffic sensors on freeways

J. W.C. Van Lint, Serge P. Hoogendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Fusing freeway traffic data such as spot speeds and travel times from a variety of traffic sensors (loops, cameras, automated vehicle identification systems) into a coherent, consistent, and reliable picture of the prevailing traffic conditions (e.g., speeds, flows) is a critical task in any off- or online traffic management or data archival system. This task is challenging as such data differ in terms of spatial and temporal resolution, accuracy, reliability, and most importantly in terms of spatiotemporal semantics. In this article, we propose a data fusion algorithm (the extended generalized Treiber-Helbing filter [the EGTF]) which, although heuristic in nature, uses basic notions from traffic flow theory and is generic in the sense that it does not impose any restrictions on the way the data are structured in a temporal or spatial way. This implies that the data can stem from any data source, given they provide a means to distinguish between free flowing and congested traffic. On the basis of (ground truth and sensor) data from a micro-simulation tool, we demonstrate that the EGTF method results in accurate reconstructed traffic conditions and is robust to increasing degrees of data corruption. Further research should focus on validating the approach on real data. The method can be straightforwardly implemented in any traffic data archiving system or application which requires consistent and coherent traffic data from traffic sensors as inputs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-612
Number of pages17
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

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