Bayesian spatiotemporal crash frequency models with mixture components for space-time interactions

The traffic safety research has developed spatiotemporal models to explore the variations in the spatial pattern of crash risk over time. Many studies observed notable benefits associated with the inclusion of spatial and temporal correlation and their interactions. However, the safety literature lacks sufficient research for the comparison of different temporal treatments and their interaction with spatial component. This study developed four spatiotemporal models with varying complexity due to the different temporal treatments such as (I) linear time trend; (II) quadratic time trend; (III) Autoregressive-1 (AR-1); and (IV) time adjacency. Moreover, the study introduced a flexible two-component mixture for the space-time interaction which allows greater flexibility compared to the traditional linear space-time interaction. The mixture component allows the accommodation of global space-time interaction as well as the departures from the overall spatial and temporal risk patterns. This study performed a comprehensive assessment of mixture models based on the diverse criteria pertaining to goodness-of-fit, cross-validation and evaluation based on in-sample data for predictive accuracy of crash estimates. The assessment of model performance in terms of goodness-of-fit clearly established the superiority of the time-adjacency specification which was evidently more complex due to the addition of information borrowed from neighboring years, but this addition of parameters allowed significant advantage at posterior deviance which subsequently benefited overall fit to crash data. The Base models were also developed to study the comparison between the proposed mixture and traditional space-time components for each temporal model. The mixture models consistently outperformed the corresponding Base models due to the advantages of much lower deviance. For cross-validation comparison of predictive accuracy, linear time trend model was adjudged the best as it recorded the highest value of log pseudo marginal likelihood (LPML). Four other evaluation criteria were considered for typical validation using the same data for model development. Under each criterion, observed crash counts were compared with three types of data containing Bayesian estimated, normal predicted, and model replicated ones. The linear model again performed the best in most scenarios except one case of using model replicated data and two cases involving prediction without including random effects. These phenomena indicated the mediocre performance of linear trend when random effects were excluded for evaluation. This might be due to the flexible mixture space-time interaction which can efficiently absorb the residual variability escaping from the predictable part of the model. The comparison of Base and mixture models in terms of prediction accuracy further bolstered the superiority of the mixture models as the mixture ones generated more precise estimated crash counts across all four models, suggesting that the advantages associated with mixture component at model fit were transferable to prediction accuracy. Finally, the residual analysis demonstrated the consistently superior performance of random effect models which validates the importance of incorporating the correlation structures to account for unobserved heterogeneity.


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  • Accession Number: 01659784
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 2 2018 3:04PM