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Center for Transportation Studies


Seminar Series – Spring 2002

January 29

"A Unified Approach to Spatial Outliers with Application to Traffic Data Analysis"

Shashi Shekhar
Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering

Seminar Article

Spatial outliers represent locations which are significantly different from their neighborhoods even though they may not be significantly different from the entire population. Identification of spatial outliers can lead to the discovery of unexpected, interesting, and implicit knowledge, such as local instability. Interesting spatial outliers detected in Twin Cities freeway detector data include bad sensors, and missing data.

February 12

"Advanced Traffic Signal Control and Prioritization"

Thomas Urbanik II
University of Tennessee–Knoxville, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Seminar Article

Traffic signal control has historically been vehicle based. The principal objectives have been minimization of stops and delays. However, this paradigm does not reflect the priorities associated with individual vehicles. Although some have given weighting to vehicles having higher occupancies or provided for traffic signal preemption, a broad based concept of operations has not existed that allows traffic signal control systems to prioritize service based on a diverse fleet of vehicles including consideration of trains, emergency vehicles, transit, and trucks.

February 26

"Vehicle-based Student Competitions at the U of M: History and Educational Impact"

Patrick Starr
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Seminar Article

Since 1992, teams of U of M undergraduates have created 16 vehicles and entered 24 intercollegiate competition events, including cross country solar car races in the USA, Japan, and Australia, Formula SAE events, SAE Mini-Baja events and Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competitions. These projects complement and extend classroom education by providing hands-on experience with the complete Product Development Process. Students gain Computer-Aided Design (CAD) experience that is far beyond what is provided in the classroom, and become familiar with many manufacturing methods.

March 12

"Comparing Dualmode Transportation Systems with Other Proposed and Existing Systems"

Francis D. Reynolds
Dualmode transportation inventor and private consultant

The seminar will provide a brief analysis of our current transportation problems and transportation-related environmental and energy problems, a description of the Dualmode Transportation concept and its history, the reason why dualmode will be popular and have many times the capacity of either our present private cars or any form of transit system, and examination of the many sociological and political challenges that will make the acquisition of a national dualmode system very difficult.

March 26

"The ITS Laboratory – Building the Future"

Ted Morris
Laboratory Manager, ITS Institute

Seminar Article

This presentation will focus on resource development for traffic control, operations, and management research and education within the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) laboratory. A brief history the ITS Laboratory and the lab's primary mission will first be presented. We will then discuss recent ITS Laboratory efforts to build resources for remote real-time sensing of traffic data in accident prone urban areas, wireless/wired Internet communications infrastructure, and data visualization.

April 9

"Traffic Flow Study of the Miller Hill Corridor"

Jiann-Shiou Yang
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Duluth)

Seminar Article

This presentation will focus on the study of traffic flow modeling and simulation of the Miller Hill corridor on Highway 194 between Arlington Avenue and Haines Road, one of the most heavily traveled and congested roadways in the Duluth area. We will present our research progress and results which include: (1) traffic data collection using a non-intrusive RTMS detector, (2) traffic flow modeling and model parameter identification, and (3) model validation and traffic simulation.

April 23

"Behavior Variability is More than Just Noise: The Meaning of Behavioral Entropy"

Erwin R. Boer
Erwin R. Boer Consulting

Seminar Article

Drivers exhibit behavioral variability beyond what can be reasonably explained by perceptual and motor control limitations. This shortcoming in our modeling formalism calls for an augmented approach to characterize human operator functioning. Satisficing decision theory (SDT) offers a mathematical formalism in which certain performance measures are deemed acceptable if they exceed certain aspiration levels while simultaneously other performance measures do not drop below certain rejection levels. This presentation introduces the satisficing modeling framework and uses it to motivate the use of behavioral entropy as a measure of driver performance that captures how drivers respond to non-satisficing situations.