A Deep-Learning Model for Urban Traffic Flow Prediction with Traffic Events Mined from Twitter

Aniekan Essien, Ilias Petrounias, Pedro Sampaio, Sandra Sampaio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Short-term traffic parameter forecasting is critical to modern urban traffic management and control systems. Predictive accuracy in data-driven traffic models is reduced when exposed to non-recurring or non- routine traffic events, such as accidents, road closures, and extreme weather conditions. The analytical mining of data from social networks – specifically twitter – can improve urban traffic parameter prediction by complementing traffic data with data representing events capable of disrupting regular traffic patterns reported in social media posts. This paper proposes a deep learning urban traffic prediction model that combines information extracted from tweet messages with traffic and weather information. The predictive model adopts a deep Bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) stacked autoencoder (SAE) architecture for multi-step traffic flow prediction trained using tweets, traffic and weather data sets. The model is evaluated on an urban road network in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. The findings from extensive empirical analysis using real-world data demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach in improving prediction accuracy when com- pared to other classical/statistical and machine learning (ML) state-of-the-art models. The improvement in predictive accuracy can lead to reduced frustration for road users, cost savings for businesses, and less harm to the environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Wide Web
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2020


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