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Traffic congestion prediction is critical for implementing intelligent transportation systems for improving the efficiency and capacity of transportation networks. However, despite its importance, traffic congestion prediction is severely less investigated compared to traffic flow prediction, which is partially due to the severe lack of large-scale high-quality traffic congestion data and advanced algorithms. This paper proposes an accessible and general workflow to acquire large-scale traffic congestion data and to create traffic congestion datasets based on image analysis. With this workflow we create a dataset named Seattle Area Traffic Congestion Status (SATCS) based on traffic congestion map snapshots from a publicly available online traffic service provider Washington State Department of Transportation. We then propose a deep autoencoder-based neural network model with symmetrical layers for the encoder and the decoder to learn temporal correlations of a transportation network and predicting traffic congestion. Our experimental results on the SATCS dataset show that the proposed DCPN model can efficiently and effectively learn temporal relationships of congestion levels of the transportation network for traffic congestion forecasting. Our method outperforms two other state-of-the-art neural network models in prediction performance, generalization capability, and computation efficiency.


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Zhang, S., Yao, Y., Hu, J., Zhao, Y., Li, S., & Hu, J. (2019). Deep Autoencoder Neural Networks for Short-Term Traffic Congestion Prediction of Transportation Networks. Sensors, 19(10), 2229. doi: 10.3390/s19102229