Traffic prediction via clustering and deep transfer learning with limited data

Xiexin Zou, Edward Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper proposes a method based on the clustering algorithm, deep learning, and transfer learning (TL) for short-term traffic prediction with limited data. To address the challenges posed by limited data and the complex and diverse traffic patterns observed in traffic networks, we propose a profile model based on few-shot learning to extract each detector's unique profiles. These profiles are then used to cluster detectors with similar patterns into distinct clusters, facilitating effective learning with limited data. A Convolutional Neural Network - Long Short-Term Memory (CNN-LSTM)-based predictive model is proposed to learn and predict traffic volumes for each detector within a cluster. The proposed method demonstrates resilience to detector failures and has been validated using the Performance Measurement System dataset. In scenarios with less than 2 months of training data and 10% failed detectors, the mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) for station-level traffic volume prediction increase from 12.7 vehs/5 min, 20.9 vehs/5 min, and 10.5% to 13.9 vehs/5 min, 24.2 vehs/5 min, and 11.7%, respectively. For lane-level traffic volume prediction, the average MAE, RMSE, and MAPE increase from 4.7 vehs/5 min, 7.7 vehs/5 min, and 15% to 5.6 vehs/5 min, 9.6 vehs/5 min, and 16.8%. Furthermore, the proposed method extends its applicability to traffic speed and occupancy prediction tasks. TL is integrated to improve speed/occupancy prediction accuracy by leveraging knowledge obtained from traffic volume, considering the correlation between traffic flow, speed, and occupancy. When less than 1 month of traffic speed/occupancy data is available for learning, the proposed method achieves an MAE, RMSE, and MAPE of 0.7 km/h, 1.3 km/h, and 1.3% for station-level traffic speed prediction and 0.5%, 1.1%, and 11% for station-level traffic occupancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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