A Hybrid Short-term Traffic Flow Forecasting Method Based on Neural Networks Combined with K-Nearest Neighbor
It is critical to implement accurate short-term traffic forecasting in traffic management and control applications. This paper proposes a hybrid forecasting method based on neural networks combined with the K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) method for short-term traffic flow forecasting. The procedure of training a neural network model using existing traffic input-output data, i.e., training data, is indispensable for fine-tuning the prediction model. Based on this point, the K-NN method was employed to reconstruct the training data for neural network models while considering the similarity of traffic flow patterns. This was done through collecting the specific state vectors that were closest to the current state vectors from the historical database to enhance the relationship between the inputs and outputs for the neural network models. In this study, we selected four different neural network models, i.e., back-propagation (BP) neural network, radial basis function (RBF) neural network, generalized regression (GR) neural network, and Elman neural network, all of which have been widely applied for short-term traffic forecasting. Using real world traffic data, the experimental results primarily show that the BP and GR neural networks combined with the K-NN method have better prediction performance, and both are sensitive to the size of the training data. Secondly, the forecast accuracies of the RBF and Elman neural networks combined with the K-NN method both remain fairly stable with the increasing size of the training data. In summary, the proposed hybrid forecasting approach outperforms the conventional forecasting models, facilitating the implementation of short-term traffic forecasting in traffic management and control applications.
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