Recognizing Modes of Driving Railway Trains (MDRT) can help to solve railway freight transportation problems in driver behavior research, auto-driving system design and capacity utilization optimization. Previous studies have focused on analyses and applications of MDRT, but there is currently no approach to automatically and effectively identify MDRT in the context of big data. In this study, we propose an integrated approach including data preprocessing, feature extraction, classifiers modeling, training and parameter tuning, and model evaluation to infer MDRT using GPS data. The highlights of this study are as follows: First, we propose methods for extracting Driving Segmented Standard Deviation Features (DSSDF) combined with classical features for the purpose of improving identification performances. Second, we find the most suitable classifier for identifying MDRT based on a comparison of performances of K-Nearest Neighbor, Support Vector Machines, AdaBoost, Random Forest, Gradient Boosting Decision Tree, and XGBoost. From the real-data experiment, we conclude that: (i) The ensemble classifier XGBoost produces the best performance with an accuracy of 92.70%; (ii) The group of DSSDF plays an important role in identifying MDRT with an accuracy improvement of 11.2% (using XGBoost). The proposed approach has been applied in capacity utilization optimization and new driver training for the Baoshen Railway.
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