Discretionary lane-changing behavior: empirical validation for one realistic rule-based model

Cheng Jie Jin*, Victor L. Knoop, Dawei Li, Ling Yu Meng, Hao Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we discuss the mechanisms for discretionary lane-changing behavior in traffic flow. NGSIM video data are used to check the validity of different lane-changing rules, and 373 lane changes at 4 locations in US-101 highway are analyzed. We find that the classical lane-changing rules of rule-based model cannot explain many cases in the empirical dataset. Therefore, we propose one new decision rule, comparing the position after a time horizon of several seconds without a lane-change. This rule can be described as “to have a further position within 9 seconds”. The tests on NGSIM data show that this rule can explain most (76%) of the lane-changing cases. Besides, some data when lane changes do not occur are also studied. We find that most (81%) of non-lane-changing vehicles do not fulfill the new rule. Thus, it can be considered as one sufficient and necessary condition for discretionary lane-changing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244–262
Number of pages19
JournalTransportmetrica A: Transport Science
Volume15 (2019)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care 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.


  • Discretionary lane change
  • lane-changing model
  • NGSIM data
  • non-lane-changing vehicles
  • rule-based model


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