Short-Term Passenger Flow Prediction Using a Bus Network Graph Convolutional Long Short-Term Memory Neural Network Model

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, ridership - demand, ridership - forecasting, ridership - modelling, technology - intelligent transport systems, operations - scheduling, operations - crowding


passenger flow prediction, deep learning, bus network, graph neural network, BNG-ConvLSTM


Short-term passenger flow prediction is critical to managing real-time bus networks, responding to emergencies quickly, making crowdedness-aware route recommendations, and adjusting service schedules over time. Some recent studies have attempted to predict passenger flow using deep learning models. The complexity of transportation networks, coupled with emerging real-time data collection and information dissemination systems, has increased the popularity of these approaches. There has also been a growing interest in using a new deep learning approach, the graph neural network that captures graph dependence by passing messages between its nodes. Researchers in various transportation domains have used such tools for modeling and predicting transportation networks, as many of these networks consist of nodes and links and can be naturally categorized as graphs. This paper develops a bus network graph convolutional long short-term memory (BNG-ConvLSTM) neural network model to forecast short-term passenger flows in bus networks. Validating the proposed model is done using real-world data collected from the Laval bus network in Canada. Based on a set of comparisons between the proposed model and some other popular deep learning approaches, it clearly indicates that the BNG-ConvLSTM model is more scalable and robust than other baselines in making network-wide predictions for short-term passenger flows.


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