Evaluation of Clustering Algorithms for the Prediction of Trends in Bus Travel Time

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, planning - service quality, planning - signage/information, planning - methods


Travel time reliability, bus, travel time prediction


Providing accurate and reliable travel time information to travellers is essential to improve the quality of public transit systems. With the availability of the latest technologies, it has become possible to collect a large amount of traffic data to analyze and understand these systems better. Traffic in India is characterized by lack of lane discipline and the presence of vehicles of varying static and dynamic characteristics, which makes prediction of bus travel time especially challenging. The aim of this study is to identify both a prediction algorithm that can handle high variability and suitable inputs or regressors to be used. Earlier studies performed offline manual grouping considering the patterns observed, which leads to limitations for automated field implementations. The present study explores the use of data-driven approaches, primarily clustering, to address the challenges for the prediction of bus travel time trends. Discrete wavelet transform (DWT) was used to extract trends from the travel time measurements. Three popular clustering algorithms—k-means, hierarchical, and self organizing maps (SOM)—were used to identify patterns. Travel time trends were then predicted by searching for similar cluster patterns within the historical database using pattern sequence-based forecasting (PSF). A comparison of the performance of these algorithms was carried out based on prediction errors. The clustering +prediction framework developed was also compared with the case when no clustering was done on the regressor dataset.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.