Using Deep Neural Networks and Big Data to Predict Microscopic Travel Time in Work Zones

Yeganeh Morshedzadeh, Suliman Gargoum, Ali Gargoum

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Traffic management in work zones is a challenging task that requires a balance between creating a safe environment for workers and minimizing traffic delays. Accurately predicting travel times through work zones is essential for dynamic traffic management and reducing congestion. However, complex interrupted traffic patterns in work zones (also known as construction zones) make this challenging compared with regular traffic congestion and free-flow conditions. To address this complexity, the paper develops a data-driven deep feed-forward artificial neural network to forecast under-construction travel times in work zones using an integrated data set of almost half a million observations. The variables considered in the neural network include the work zone characteristics, road design features, weather information, and traffic flow information. The raw data set comprised approximately 15 million travel time observations collected at 674 work zones. After cleaning and preprocessing the data and applying feature engineering techniques, the raw data set was reduced to 81 work zones spread along a 700 km corridor between the western borders of Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. The data were split into training and test data using a 90:10 ratio. Training data were used to develop a 27-input neural network with four hidden layers. After validating the test data, the neural network achieved a root mean squared error of 0.150 min and an R-squared score of 0.945, indicating a high accuracy level in estimating the under-construction travel time.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransportation Research Record
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


    • artificial neural network
    • data driven modeling
    • interrupted flow
    • non-recurrent traffic congestion
    • operations
    • traffic flow
    • traffic flow theory and characteristics
    • travel time
    • under construction travel time estimation
    • work zone delay time

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering


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