Network-Wide Traffic States Imputation Using Self-interested Coalitional Learning

Published in Twenty-Seventh ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD2021), 2021

Recommended citation: Qin, H., Zhan, X., Li, Y., Yang, X. and Zheng, Y. Network-Wide Traffic States Imputation Using Self-interested Coalitional Learning. In Proceedings of the 27th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD ’21), August 14–18, 2021, Virtual Event, Singapore. ACM, New York, NY, USA.


Accurate network-wide traffic state estimation is vital to many transportation operations and urban applications. However, existing methods often suffer from the scalability issue when performing real-time inference at the city-level, or not robust enough under limited data. Currently, GPS trajectory data from probe vehicles has become a popular data source for many transportation applications. GPS trajectory data has large coverage area, which is ideal for network-wide applications, but also has the disadvantage of being sparse and highly heterogeneous among different time and locations. In this study, we focus on developing a robust and interpretable network-wide traffic state imputation framework using partially observed traffic information. We introduce a new learning strategy, called self-interested coalitional learning (SCL), which forge cooperation between a main self-interested semi-supervised task and a discriminator as a critic to facilitate main task training while providing interpretability on the results. In our detailed model, we use as a temporal graph convolutional variational autoencoder (TG-VAE) as the reconstructor, which models the complex spatio-temporal pattern in data and solves the main traffic state imputation task. A discriminator is introduced to output interpretable imputation confidence on the estimated results and also help to enhance the performance of the reconstructor. The framework is evaluated using a large GPS trajectory dataset from taxis in Jinan, China. Extensive experiments against the state-of-the-art baselines demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method for network-wide traffic state estimation.


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