Personal Advanced Traveler Assistant

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Abstract

In spite of numerous road management schemes and developed infrastructure the society nowadays still faces the problem of highly congested roads due to the increasing traffic demand. The focus of this thesis is to develop a complex and integrated system that addresses the challenges of dynamic traffic assignment in modern times. To reach this goal we had to study the theory behind such systems, come with new ideas and implement them into a real world human-centered traveler information system. Taking into account state of the art systems in this field we built a design for a Personal Advanced Traveler Assistant (PTA). The main purpose of PTA is to give routing advices depending on the users preferences and the available capacity in the network. The system incorporates a dynamic traffic algorithm that employs a prediction model. The prediction model should use current traffic updates and the routes of the guided cars in order to achieve an accurate prediction of the future traveling times. Next step was to implement a prototype. This is available through multiple interfaces like smart phones or desktop applications. The prediction model that the algorithm uses is based on historical data. Given the time constraints the prototype uses now only historical data but it can be easily extended to include live updates. This allowed us to build a prediction model that considers typical traffic dynamics in order to estimate the traveling time. The performance measure of the traffic assignment algorithm is the shortest traveling time. The algorithm that we implemented is a time dimensional-extended version of the Dijkstra algorithm. The algorithm is tested on real data collected from the highways in The Netherlands. We evaluate the performance of the algorithm by comparing it to two versions of the static Dijkstra algorithm. To conclude, we successfully implemented a working prototype that uses various technologies such as Java, the Open Street Map API for rendering the map or J2ME for the mobile phone client. The prototype that we have built represents a working proof of concept for a dynamic routing assistant. One advantage of the structure that we chose to implement is that each component can be further on extended independently. In this way we showed that such a system is feasible but we also left the possibility for different parts of the system to be extended into more advanced applications.

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