Predicting short-term bus passenger demand using a pattern hybrid approach

Zhenliang Ma, Jianping Xing, Mahmoud Mesbah, Luis Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes an Interactive Multiple Model-based Pattern Hybrid (IMMPH) approach to predict short-term passenger demand. The approach maximizes the effective information content by assembling the knowledge from pattern models using historical data and optimizing the interaction between them using real-time observations. It can dynamically estimate the priori pattern models combination in advance for the next time interval. The source demand data were collected by Smart Card system along one bus service route over one year. After correlation analysis, three temporal relevant pattern time series are generated, namely, the weekly, daily and hourly pattern time series. Then statistical pattern models are developed to capture different time series patterns. Finally, an amended IMM algorithm is applied to dynamically combine the pattern models estimations to output the final demand prediction. The proposed IMMPH model is validated by comparing with statistical methods and an artificial neural network based hybrid model. The results suggest that the IMMPH model provides a better forecast performance than its alternatives, including prediction accuracy, robustness, explanatory power and model complexity. The proposed approach can be potentially extended to other short-term time series forecast applications as well, such as traffic flow forecast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-163
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Interactive multiple model
  • Passenger demand
  • Pattern hybrid
  • Short-term forecast
  • Time series analysis

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