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Knowledge about traffic conditions on the road play an important role in route planning and avoiding traffic jams. With recent developments in technology, it is possible for vehicles to be equipped with communication and GPS systems. Equipped vehicles on the road can act as nodes to form a vehicular ad hoc network. These nodes can collect information regarding traffic conditions such as position, speed, and direction from other participating nodes. Depending on the number of participating nodes in the ad hoc network, this collected information can provide useful information on driving conditions to the node collecting this information. With proper analysis this information can be used in detecting and/or predicting traffic jam conditions on freeways. In this article the traffic information gathered by a node in an ad hoc network is viewed as a snapshot in time of the current traffic conditions on the road segment. This snapshot is considered as a pattern in time of the current traffic conditions. The pattern is analyzed using pattern recognition techniques. A weight-of-evidence-based classification algorithm is presented to identify different road traffic conditions. The algorithm is tested using data generated by microscopic modeling of traffic flow for simulation of vehicle or node mobility in ad hoc networks. Test results are presented depicting different percentage levels of vehicles equipped with communication capability.
Date of Publication: December 2009