Calibration and Evaluation of Link Congestion Functions: Applying Intrinsic Sensitivity of Link Speed as a Practical Consideration to Heterogeneous Facility Types within Urban Network


This paper explores the use of archived data to calibrate volume delay functions (VDFs) and updates their input parameters (capacity and free-flow speed) for planning applications. The sensitivity analysis of speed to change in congestion level is performed to capture functional characteristics of VDFs in modeling specific facility types. Different sensitivity characteristics shown by the VDFs indicate that each function is suitable to a particular facility type. The results of sensitivity analysis are confirmed by the root mean square percent error (RMSPE) values calculated using the Orlando Urban Area Transportation Study (OUATS) model results and observed data. The modified Davidson’s function exhibits remarkable performance in nearly all facility types. The strength of the modified Davidson’s function across a broad range of facilities can be attributed to the flexibility of its tuning parameter, μ. Fitted Bureau of Public Road (BPR) and conical delay functions show lower RMSPE for uninterrupted flow facilities (freeways/expressways, managed lanes) and higher values for toll roads (which might have partial interruptions due to toll booths) and signalized arterials. Akcelik function underperforms on freeways/expressways and managed lanes but shows some improvements for toll roads and superior results for the signalized arterials. This was a desired strength of Akcelik function when modeling link travel speed on facilities where stopped delays were encountered.

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Mtoi, E. and Moses, R. (2014) Calibration and Evaluation of Link Congestion Functions: Applying Intrinsic Sensitivity of Link Speed as a Practical Consideration to Heterogeneous Facility Types within Urban Network. Journal of Transportation Technologies, 4, 141-149. doi: 10.4236/jtts.2014.42014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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