Dynamic stochastic journey time estimation and reliability analysis using stochastic cell transmission model: Algorithm and case studies

Agachai Sumalee, Tianlu Pan, Renxin Zhong, Nobuhiro Uno, Nakorn Indra-Payoong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a framework for evaluating the distributions of stochastic dynamic link travel time and journey time as well as assessing the journey time reliability. Due to the stochastic nature of the flow profiles, the paper devises a sampling process to estimate the probability mass function (PMF) of the link travel time. This sampling process defines a likelihood concept that measures the probability of the difference between the cumulative stochastic link inflow and outflow profiles to be less than or equal to a prescribed bound. Based on this likelihood measure, the probability mass function (PMF) of the link travel time is evaluated over an appropriate sampling interval. The PMF of the journey time is then evaluated by extending the deterministic nested delay operator to a stochastic version which is defined as a series of "nested" conditional probabilities of the link travel time PMFs along the route. This paper also proposes a method to fit the PMF of the journey time to a class of statistical distribution to determine its skewness, which is useful in the analysis of journey time reliability. The paper then analyzes journey time reliability via the properties of dynamic travel time distributions such as confidence intervals and shape parameters. The proposed algorithm is applied to estimate the stochastic journey time on a freeway corridor from the stochastic cumulative inflow and outflow profiles generated from the stochastic cell transmission model. This methodology is validated with two empirical studies: (i) estimations of journey time distribution and reliability analysis for one short freeway segment in California during a specific time period and (ii) the effects of traffic incidents on journey time reliability for a long expressway corridor of Hanshin expressway (between Osaka and Kobe) in Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-285
Number of pages23
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Dynamic journey travel time distribution
  • Probability mass function
  • Relative frequency
  • Skewness
  • Travel time reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Computer Science Applications

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