Data-Driven Approach to Quantify and Reduce Error Associated with Assigning Short Duration Counts to Traffic Pattern Groups

Traffic monitoring agencies collect traffic data samples to estimate annual average daily traffic (AADT) at short duration count sites. The steps to estimate AADT from sample data introduce error that manifests as uncertainty in the AADT statistic and its applications. Past research suggests that the assignment of a short duration count site to a traffic pattern group (TPG), characterized by known traffic periodicities, represents a significant but poorly quantified source of error. This paper presents an approach to quantify the range of errors arising from such assignments and to mitigate these errors using a novel data-driven assignment method. The approach uses simulated 48-hour short duration counts sampled from continuous count sites with known AADT to develop a benchmark of the total error expected when AADT is estimated from such samples. Likewise, the analysis produces a set of AADT estimates using temporal factors from pre-defined TPGs to quantify the range of assignment errors. The data-driven assignment method aims to mitigate these errors by minimizing the absolute mean deviation in AADT estimates produced from multiple short duration counts in a single year. The approach is applied to traffic data collected in Manitoba, Canada, as a case study. The results indicate that the mean absolute error from 48-hour short duration counts is 6.40% of the true AADT and that improper assignment can lead to a range in mean absolute errors of 9%. When applied to previously unassigned sites, the data-driven assignment method reduced mean absolute errors from 10.32%, using a conventional assignment method, to 7.86%.

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    • The results and conclusions presented are those of the authors and no official endorsement by Manitoba Infrastructure is intended or should be inferred. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2021.
  • Authors:
    • Grande, Giuseppe
    • Paramita, Puteri
    • Regehr, Jonathan D
  • Publication Date: 2021


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01764113
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-00268
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:20AM