The paper proposes a first-order macroscopic stochastic dynamic traffic model, namely the stochastic cell transmission model (SCTM), to model traffic flow density on freeway segments with stochastic demand and supply. The SCTM consists of five operational modes corresponding to different congestion levels of the freeway segment. Each mode is formulated as a discrete time bilinear stochastic system. A set of probabilistic conditions is proposed to characterize the probability of occurrence of each mode. The overall effect of the five modes is estimated by the joint traffic density which is derived from the theory of finite mixture distribution. The SCTM captures not only the mean and standard deviation (SD) of density of the traffic flow, but also the propagation of SD over time and space. The SCTM is tested with a hypothetical freeway corridor simulation and an empirical study. The simulation results are compared against the means and SDs of traffic densities obtained from the Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) of the modified cell transmission model (MCTM). An approximately two-miles freeway segment of Interstate 210 West (I-210W) in Los Ageles, Southern California, is chosen for the empirical study. Traffic data is obtained from the Performance Measurement System (PeMS). The stochastic parameters of the SCTM are calibrated against the flow-density empirical data of I-210W. Both the SCTM and the MCS of the MCTM are tested. A discussion of the computational efficiency and the accuracy issues of the two methods is provided based on the empirical results. Both the numerical simulation results and the empirical results confirm that the SCTM is capable of accurately estimating the means and SDs of the freeway densities as compared to the MCS.
- Cell transmission model
- Dynamic link model
- Macroscopic stochastic dynamic traffic model
- Traffic flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Science and Operations Research