Estimating fundamental diagram for multi-modal signalized urban links with limited probe data

Ruyang Yin, Nan Zheng, Zhiyuan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Being one of the most classic concepts in the traffic flow theory, the fundamental diagram (FD) describes the relationship between average flow and average density of link-level traffic flow dynamics. Inductive loop detectors or closed-circuit television are commonly used for FD estimations and they are known to have cost-effective and accuracy issues. Thanks to the GPS-enabled smartphones and GPS-equipped probe vehicles, high temporal and spatial resolution traffic data are available which enable traffic condition inference over time and space continuously. Several existing studies have explored FD estimation algorithms on freeways where flow is generally uninterrupted and uni-modal, based on GPS trajectory data. These developments motivate this study, where the objective is to extend the application to multi-modal and interrupted environment, i.e., urban signalized areas. In this paper, an estimation method is developed to capture the FD of multi-modal traffic streams on signalized urban links. The proposed algorithm is empirically tested using real-world GPS datasets collected on a signalized arterial road in Shenzhen City. Promising results show that the proposed algorithm is capable to estimate the FD under such condition. Furthermore, impacts of multi-modal traffic and signal operations on the FD estimation are analyzed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128091
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2022


  • Fundamental diagram
  • Multi-modal operations
  • Probe traffic states
  • Trajectory-based FD estimation
  • Urban signalized roads

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