Deep convolutional generative adversarial networks for traffic data imputation encoding time series as images

by   Tongge Huang, et al.

Sufficient high-quality traffic data are a crucial component of various Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) applications and research related to congestion prediction, speed prediction, incident detection, and other traffic operation tasks. Nonetheless, missing traffic data are a common issue in sensor data which is inevitable due to several reasons, such as malfunctioning, poor maintenance or calibration, and intermittent communications. Such missing data issues often make data analysis and decision-making complicated and challenging. In this study, we have developed a generative adversarial network (GAN) based traffic sensor data imputation framework (TSDIGAN) to efficiently reconstruct the missing data by generating realistic synthetic data. In recent years, GANs have shown impressive success in image data generation. However, generating traffic data by taking advantage of GAN based modeling is a challenging task, since traffic data have strong time dependency. To address this problem, we propose a novel time-dependent encoding method called the Gramian Angular Summation Field (GASF) that converts the problem of traffic time-series data generation into that of image generation. We have evaluated and tested our proposed model using the benchmark dataset provided by Caltrans Performance Management Systems (PeMS). This study shows that the proposed model can significantly improve the traffic data imputation accuracy in terms of Mean Absolute Error (MAE) and Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) compared to state-of-the-art models on the benchmark dataset. Further, the model achieves reasonably high accuracy in imputation tasks even under a very high missing data rate (> 50%), which shows the robustness and efficiency of the proposed model.


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