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Title:Knowledge-Based Machine Learning for Freeway COVID-19 Traffic Impact Analysis and Traffic Incident Management
Authors:Pan Lu, Xianfeng "Terry" Yang, and Yaobang Gong
University:North Dakota State University, University of Utah
Publication Date:Aug 2023
Report #:MPC-23-502
Project #:MPC-657
TRID #:01895542
Keywords:COVID-19, machine learning, traffic forecasting, traffic safety, traffic volume, travel demand, vehicle miles of travel
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications



The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) needs to respond quickly and adapt to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure continuation of critical infrastructure support and relief for the American people. Since early March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impact on traffic across the United States. It is clear to see that traffic patterns, traffic demands, and duration alter with COVID status. Therefore, there is a critical research need to study the impact of COVID on traffic patterns and to analyze the relationships among traffic demand patterns, daily confirmed cases/deaths, state policies, public perceptions, etc. In this research, we investigate the impact of COVID-19 on traffic safety in different stages, focusing on Salt Lake County, Utah. Statistical methods are employed to determine if there are any differences in the effects of the pandemic. Further, the effect of COVID-19 on traffic patterns in Salt Lake County and Utah County from January 2019 to July 2021 was analyzed. Different vehicle miles traveled (VMT) patterns in the pre-pandemic stage, early stage of the pandemic, and late stage of the pandemic are identified. Finally, a knowledge-based traffic prediction model utilizing an innovative approach that integrates machine learning with graph theory is proposed to forecast traffic patterns in the near future.

How to Cite

Lu, Pan, Xianfeng "Terry" Yang, and Yaobang Gong. Knowledge-Based Machine Learning for Freeway COVID-19 Traffic Impact Analysis and Traffic Incident Management, MPC-23-502. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2023.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050