Capturing the Spatiotemporal Evolution in Road Traffic Networks

Tarique Anwar, Chengfei Liu, Hai L. Vu, Md Saiful Islam, Timos Sellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The urban road networks undergo frequent traffic congestions during the peak hours and around the city centre. Capturing the spatiotemporal evolution of the congestion scenario in real-time in an urban-scale can aid in developing smart traffic management systems, and guiding commuters in making informed decision about route choice. The congestion scenario is often represented by a set of distinguishable network partitions that have homogeneous level of congestion inside them but are heterogeneous to others. Due to the dynamic nature of traffic, these partitions evolve with time in terms of their structure and location. In this paper, we propose a comprehensive framework to capture the evolution by incrementally updating the partitions in an efficient manner using a two-layer approach. The physical layer maintains a set of small-sized road network building blocks in a fine granularity, and performs low-level computations to incrementally update them, whereas the logical layer performs high-level computations in order to serve as an interface to query the physical layer about the congested partitions in a coarse granularity. We also propose an in-memory index called Bin that compactly stores the historical sets of building blocks in the main memory with no information loss, and facilitates their efficient retrieval. Our experimental results show that the proposed method is much efficient than the existing re-partitioning methods without significant sacrifice in accuracy. The proposed Bin consume a minimum space with least redundancy at different time stamps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1439
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Australia
  • Evolution of road traffic
  • Incremental partitioning
  • Indexes
  • Physical layer
  • Real-time systems
  • Road network motifs
  • Roads
  • Spatiotemporal phenomena
  • Urban areas
  • Urban road traffic networks

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