Lagrangian Sensing: Traffic Estimation With Mobile Devices

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Executive Summary

An inverse modeling algorithm is developed to reconstruct the state of traffic on highways (velocity field) from GPS measurements gathered from mobile phones traveling on-board vehicles. The algorithm is based on Ensemble Kalman Filtering (EnKF), to overcome the non-linearity and non-differentiability of a distributed highway traffic model for velocity. The algorithm is implemented in an architecture which includes GPS enabled Nokia N95 phones and a privacy preserving data collection infrastructure based on the novel concept of Virtual Trip Lines (a technology developed by Nokia).

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