Real-time incident detection using social media data

The objective of this project is to analyze social media streaming data (Twitter and traffic radio streams as the test case) for real-time incident detection on the major road infrastructure of Pennsylvania. This project will also determine the feasibility of creating a real-time capability to alert Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) about ongoing statewide incidents, broadly defined as significant disruption to the traffic flow on major road infrastructure.

Fig 1. Incidents indicated by social media data

This project helps PennDOT answer the following two questions:
1) Can social media data and radio streams significantly improve TMC’s real-time incident situational awareness in terms of timeliness and coverage?
2) If the answer to question 1 is positive, then is the cost/benefit utility of social media data and radio streams sufficient to warrant further investment?