Artificial neural network model for estimating temporal and spatial freeway work zone delay using probe-vehicle data

Bo Du, Steven Chien, Joyoung Lee, Lazar Spasovic, Kyriacos Mouskos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Highway lane closures due to road reconstruction and the resulting work zones have been a major source of nonrecurring congestion on freeways. It is extremely important to calculate the safety and cost impacts of work zones: the use of new technologies that track drivers and vehicles make that possible. A multilayer feed-forward artificial neural network (ANN) model is developed in this paper to estimate work zone delay by using the probe-vehicle data. The probe data include the travel speeds under normal and work zone conditions. Unlike previous models, the proposed model estimates temporal and spatial delays, which are applied to a real world case study in New Jersey. The work zone data (i.e., starting time, duration, length, and number of closed lanes) were collected on New Jersey freeways in 2014 together with actual probe-vehicle speeds. A comparative analysis was conducted; the results indicate that the ANN model outperforms the traditional deterministic queuing model in terms of the accuracy in estimating travel delays. The ANN model can be used to calculate contractor penalty in terms of cost overruns as well as incentivize a reward schedule in case of early work competition. The model can assist work zone planners in designing optimal start and end time of work zone as function of time of day. In assessing the performance of work zones, the model can assist transportation engineers to better develop and evaluate traffic mitigation and management plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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