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Title: The application of chaos theory to forecast urban traffic conditions
Authors: Narh, Abraham Tetteh
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores the application of Chaos Theory to forecast urban traffic conditions. The research takes advantage of a highly resolved temporal and spatial data available from the Split Cycle Optimisation Technique (SCOOT) system, in order to overcome the limitations of previous studies to investigate applying Chaos Theory in traffic management. This thesis reports on the development of a chaos-based algorithm and presents results from its application to a SCOOT controlled region in the city of Leicester, UK. A Phase Space Reconstruction method is used to analyse non-linear data from the SCOOT system, and establishes that a 20 second resolved data is suitable for understanding the dynamics of the traffic system. The research develops the Lyapunov exponent as a chaos-based parameter to forecast link occupancy using a multiple regression model based on the temporal and spatial relationships across the links in the network. The model generates a unique forecast function for each link for every hour of the day. The study demonstrates that Lyapunov exponents can be used to predict the occupancy profile of links in the network to a reasonably high level of accuracy (R-values generally greater than 0.6). Evidence also suggests that the predictions from the Lyapunov exponents (rather than occupancy) make it possible to report on the impending conditions over a wider part of the network so that imminent congested conditions can be foreseen in advance and mitigation measures implemented. Thus, the thesis concludes that incorporating chaos-based algorithms in this way can enable urban traffic control systems to be one-step ahead of traffic congestion, rather than one-step behind. This would improve the management of traffic on a more strategic level rather than purely within smaller network regions thus playing an important role in improving journey times and air quality and making a vital contribution to mitigating climate change.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

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