Car-Following Described by Blending Data-Driven and Analytical Models: A Gaussian Process Regression Approach

Ignasi Echaniz Soldevila, Victor L. Knoop, Serge Hoogendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Traffic engineers rely on microscopic traffic models to design, plan, and operate a wide range of traffic applications. Recently, large data sets, yet incomplete and from small space regions, are becoming available thanks to technology improvements and governmental efforts. With this study we aim to gain new empirical insights into longitudinal driving behavior and to formulate a model which can benefit from these new challenging data sources. This paper proposes an application of an existing formulation, Gaussian process regression (GPR), to describe individual longitudinal driving behavior of drivers. The method integrates a parametric and a non-parametric mathematical formulation. The model predicts individual driver?s acceleration given a set of variables. It uses the GPR to make predictions when there exists correlation between new input and the training data set. The data-driven model benefits from a large training data set to capture all driver longitudinal behavior, which would be difficult to fit in fixed parametric equation(s). The methodology allows us to train models with new variables without the need of altering the model formulation. And importantly, the model also uses existing traditional parametric car-following models to predict acceleration when no similar situations are found in the training data set. A case study using radar data in an urban environment shows that a hybrid model performs better than parametric model alone and suggests that traffic light status over time influences drivers? acceleration. This methodology can help engineers to use large data sets and to find new variables to describe traffic behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1202-1213
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'Car-Following Described by Blending Data-Driven and Analytical Models: A Gaussian Process Regression Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this