Multi-Graph Convolutional-Recurrent Neural Network (MGC-RNN) for Short-Term Forecasting of Transit Passenger Flow

Yuxin He, Lishuai Li*, Xinting Zhu, Kwok Leung Tsui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Short-term forecasting of passenger flow is critical for transit management and crowd regulation. Spatial dependencies, temporal dependencies, inter-station correlations driven by other latent factors, and exogenous factors bring challenges to the short-term forecasts of passenger flow of urban rail transit networks. An innovative deep learning approach, Multi-Graph Convolutional-Recurrent Neural Network (MGC-RNN) is proposed to forecast passenger flow in urban rail transit systems to incorporate these complex factors. We propose to use multiple graphs to encode the spatial and other heterogenous inter-station correlations. The temporal dynamics of the inter-station correlations are also modeled via the proposed multi-graph convolutional-recurrent neural network structure. Inflow and outflow of all stations can be collectively predicted with multiple time steps ahead via a sequence to sequence(seq2seq) architecture. The proposed method is applied to the short-term forecasts of passenger flow in Shenzhen Metro, China. The experimental results show that MGC-RNN outperforms the benchmark algorithms in terms of forecasting accuracy. Besides, it is found that the inter-station driven by network distance, network structure, and recent flow patterns are significant factors for passenger flow forecasting. Moreover, the architecture of LSTM-encoder-decoder can capture the temporal dependencies well. In general, the proposed framework could provide multiple views of passenger flow dynamics for fine prediction and exhibit a possibility for multi-source heterogeneous data fusion in the spatiotemporal forecast tasks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Correlation
  • Forecasting
  • inter-station correlation
  • multi-graph-convolution.
  • Predictive models
  • Rails
  • Short-term forecasting of passenger flow
  • spatiotemporal dependencies
  • Spatiotemporal phenomena
  • Time series analysis
  • Transportation


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