Short-term passenger flow prediction with decomposition in urban railway systems

Yangyang Zhao, Zhenliang Ma, Yi Yang, Wenhua Jiang, Xinguo Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Accurate prediction of short-term passenger flow is vital for real-time operations control and management. Identifying passenger demand patterns and selecting appropriate methods are promising to improve prediction accuracy. This paper proposes a hybrid prediction model with time series decomposition and explores its performance for different types of passenger flows with varied characteristics in urban railway systems. The Seasonal and Trend decomposition using Loess (STL) is used to decompose the passenger flow into the seasonal, trend, and residual time series, representing the constant, long-term fluctuant, and stochastic passenger demand patterns. The approximate entropy (ApEn) is utilized to quantify the predictability of each component. After that, the Holt-Winters (HW) method is developed to predict the seasonal and trend components that both with high predictability. The long short-term memory networks (LSTM NN) are proposed to predict the residual with low predictability. The outputs from these models are combined to predict the short-term passenger flow. We assess the model performance with entry, exit, and transfer passenger flows at the target stations, which are selected via the agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) algorithm in the Shanghai Metro. Compared with three representative models, the results show that 1) the decomposition-based hybrid model performs well for both one-step and multi-step predictions in terms of accuracy and robustness; 2) ApEn is useful for choosing appropriate prediction models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107876-107886
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC) algorithm
  • approximate entropy (ApEn)
  • seasonal and trend decomposition using Loess (STL)-based model
  • Short-term metro passenger flow prediction

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