Towards better traffic volume estimation: Tackling both underdetermined and non-equilibrium problems via a correlation-adaptive graph convolution network

by   Tong Nie, et al.

Traffic volume is an indispensable ingredient to provide fine-grained information for traffic management and control. However, due to limited deployment of traffic sensors, obtaining full-scale volume information is far from easy. Existing works on this topic primarily focus on improving the overall estimation accuracy of a particular method and ignore the underlying challenges of volume estimation, thereby having inferior performances on some critical tasks. This paper studies two key problems with regard to traffic volume estimation: (1) underdetermined traffic flows caused by undetected movements, and (2) non-equilibrium traffic flows arise from congestion propagation. Here we demonstrate a graph-based deep learning method that can offer a data-driven, model-free and correlation adaptive approach to tackle the above issues and perform accurate network-wide traffic volume estimation. Particularly, in order to quantify the dynamic and nonlinear relationships between traffic speed and volume for the estimation of underdetermined flows, a speed patternadaptive adjacent matrix based on graph attention is developed and integrated into the graph convolution process, to capture non-local correlations between sensors. To measure the impacts of non-equilibrium flows, a temporal masked and clipped attention combined with a gated temporal convolution layer is customized to capture time-asynchronous correlations between upstream and downstream sensors. We then evaluate our model on a real-world highway traffic volume dataset and compare it with several benchmark models. It is demonstrated that the proposed model achieves high estimation accuracy even under 20 significantly, especially on underdetermined and non-equilibrium flow locations. Furthermore, comprehensive quantitative model analysis are also carried out to justify the model designs.


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