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Evaluation of Dual-Loop Data Accuracy Using Video Ground Truth Data

Description: This study evaluated the accuracy of truck data collected by dual-loop detectors on Seattle area freeways. The objectives of the study were to 1) quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a representative sample of dual-loop measurements of vehicle volumes and vehicle classifications on the Seattle FLOW system, 2) identify the types and causes of dual-loop data inaccuracies, and 3) recommend appropriate methods for improving the quality of real-time dual-loop measurements.

One representative station with four dual-loop detectors was selected for an extended error analysis. The detector measurements were compared to ground truth data collected via a video image system. Data for 20-second intervals were compared for peak and off-peak periods. Since there was no documentation on the settings of the dual-loop system clock, an independent analysis was conducted to synchronize the dual-loop and video image systems clocks before analysis.
 
In general, three dual-loop error types were identified through comparison of dual-loop and video ground-truth data: (1) underestimation of vehicle volumes, (2) incorrect assignment of Bin 3 vehicles to Bin 4, (3) incorrect assignment of Bin 2 vehicles to Bins 1 and 3.
 
Dual-loop measurement errors such as those described may be due to defects in system hardware, software, or the underlying measurement algorithm. Because hardware errors were virtually eliminated as a factor in the current study, the serious errors that still occurred were most likely due to defects in the underlying dual-loop algorithm or in the implementation program. Therefore, to radically improve the quality of dual-loop data, and thus the quality of real-time truck data on the FLOW system, the Washington State Department of Transportation dual-loop algorithm and its corresponding implementation code should be the emphasis of future research.

  • Date Published: March, 2002
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 535.1
  • Last Modified: May 1, 2007
  • Authors: Nancy L. Nihan, Xiaoping Zhan, Yinhai Wang.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 45 p., 265 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Accuracy, Algorithms, Data collection, Data quality, Error analysis, Loop detectors, Software, Traffic volume, Truck traffic, Vehicle classification, Video imaging detectors.
  • Keywords: Dual-loop detectors, measurement, speed trap, traffic speed, travel speed, vehicle volumes, vehicle classification, Puget Sound Region.
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008