An Investigation into the Evaluation and Optimization of the Automatic Incident Detection Algorithm Used in TxDOT Traffic Management Systems

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R.E. Brydia, J.D. Johnson, K.N. Balke

Publication Date:

October 2005


TxDOT traffic management systems have the capability to monitor real-time traffic flow data for automatic incident detection. The faster an incident is detected, the more rapid the response, which decreases congestion on the roadways. This detection capability is centered on an existing algorithm that utilizes loop occupancy from roadway loop detectors. This research proposes a minimal modification to the incident detection algorithm which decreases false alarms and increases the detection rate, as determined by a multi-year assessment of its performance characteristics, using archived data. The project delivers a revised algorithm, a procedure for setting incident detection thresholds, a logic flow for an automated tool, and recommendations for improving the incident detection process and data archives.

Report Number:



Incident Detection, Algorithm, Freeway Traffic Management. Lane Occupancy, Detector Data

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