Defining traffic flow phases using intelligent transportation systems-generated data

Xia Jingxin, Chen Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The characteristics of traffic flow under various conditions have been studied by many. Particularly, researchers use the concept of flow phases to distinguish traffic characteristics under various conditions. In this study, a data-clustering methodology is developed to define the flow phases using continuous traffic data obtained through detectors. Such continuous data provide rich information on traffic characteristics. It is shown that between the two clustering variables, density has a more significant impact on the clustering results than speed. The fundamental relationships between traffic parameters are then analyzed based on the flow phase definition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is partially funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration. The views presented in the article are those of the authors alone.


  • Clustering
  • Speed-flow-density
  • Traffic flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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