Overview of the special issue

A. Garcia-Ortiz, S. M. Amin, J. R. Wootton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMathematical and Computer Modelling
Issue number9-11
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No matter how much attentioni s paid to detailsd uring researcha nd developmenot f traffic managemenst ystems,t he fact remainst hat field deploymenta lwaysu ncoversn ew areaso f endeavor. Two papersi n this issuep rovide insighti nto the realitiesf aced by practitionersd uring the deploymento f traffic managemensty stemsa nd associateds ubsystems. The Edinburgh Traveler Information System being deployedi n Edinburgh, Scotland is de scribed by Lovicsek et al. in their paper “Integratingt he Collection,F usion, and Dissemination of Traveler Information in Edinburgh,S cotland”. This traffic managemensty stemh as been de-signedt o integratee xistinga nd new traffic data collectiona nd informationd isseminationm od-ules, and its modular constructioni s expectedt o meeta ll foreseeablefu ture growth. The paper gives recognitiont o the fact that there are a numbero f systemsi n operationt hat havee volved independentlyo ver time to addresss pecificc oncernsi n traffic managementF. or example,t raffic surveillancef or incident detection,w eatherm onitoringf or adverser oad conditions,a nd equip mentm onitoringf or traffic signalf ault detection.T he EdinburghC ity Council feelst hat a greater benefitt o the generalp ublic can be achievedif theses ystemsa re integratedin to a cohesivee ntity. The clearerp ictureof the stateo f the road networkw hich resultsf rom this will allow the traveler to better plan his/her commute,a nd the authoritiest o respondq uickert o failuresi n the system. The authors begin by providing an overviewo f the physical,g eographicala, nd institutional issuesa ffectingt he systemd esign. They then describet he variouse lementso f the system,a nd finish by outlining the benefitst o be derivedb y the travelingp ublic, the EdinburghC ity Council, and the Scottish Office. The paper indirectly highlightst he ITS trend of consolidatingd ata collectiona nd disseminationin to a centrall ocation. While this approachm ay makes ensef rom an implementationc ost point of view, in our opinion it makesf or a vulnerables ystemi n caseo f a power failure, fire, or terrorist attack. To handlet hese,a smaller,b ackups ystemi s typically locatedo ffsite. We believet hat the designo f traffic managemencte nterss tandst o benefitg reatly from technologyt hat createsr edundancy,m aintainsg eographics eparation,a nd provides the quick responsein herenti n a centralizedf acility. In “Evaluation of NonintrusiveT raffic DetectionT echnologiefso r ITS”, Polk et al. describef ield work done by the MinnesotaD epartmento f Transportation,in Minneapolis,M N, to ascertaint he accuracyo f readily available,t raffic sensors.T he specifics ensingt echnologiesc onsideredw ere magnetic,a coustic,u ltrasonic,v isible light, i&a-red, and microwave.T he authorsd iscusst he issuest hat arise in collectingt raffic data, the test site on InterstateH ighway394, and the data collectiona pproachf ollowed. The physicall ayout of the detectors,a block diagramo f the data acquisitions ystem,a nd list of the productsi nvolveda re also included. The performanceb asis used by the authorsf or establishingin dividual sensorp erformanceis the inductivel oop. While this is perhapsn ot the optimal way of doing things,i t may well be the best possiblea pproacha t the presentt ime. The issuea t handi s the ability to ground-trutht ragic eventso ver long periods of time, e.g., 24 hours. The readeri nterestedi n traffic sensorss hould contact Polk for a copy of the full report. Our assessmenotf the resultsp resentedt here is that perhapsi t is not so much the specifics ensingt echnologyt hat makesa performanced ifference, but rather the manner in which the particular phenomenab eing measuredis processed.T he authors’ discussiona lso servest o remindt he readert hat humanb ehaviori s hard to accountf or in the designo f an experimentt hat is conductedin an uncontrollede nvironmenst uchas a public road. The heavy snowfalls ituation describedn ear the end of the paper testifiest o this effect. This anecdotea lso points out the needf or traffic sensorst o be adaptivei n their operation.

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