BAYESIAN HIERARCHICAL MODELS FOR LINEAR NETWORKS
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A motorway network is handled as a linear network. The purpose of this study is to highlight dangerous motorways via estimating the intensity of accidents and study its pattern across the UK motorway network. Two mechanisms have been adopted to achieve this aim. The first, the motorway-specific intensity is estimated by modelling the point pattern of the accident data using a homogeneous Poisson process. The homogeneous Poisson process is used to model all intensities but heterogeneity across motorways is incorporated using two-level hierarchical models. The data structure is multilevel since each motorway consists of junctions that are joined by grouped segments. In the second mechanism, the segment-specific intensity is estimated by modelling the point pattern of the accident data. The homogeneous Poisson process is used to model accident data within segments but heterogeneity across segments is incorporated using three-level hierarchical models. A Bayesian method via Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation algorithms is used in order to estimate the unknown parameters in the models and a sensitivity analysis to the prior choice is assessed. The performance of the proposed models is checked through a simulation study and an application to traffic accidents in 2016 on the UK motorway network. The performance of the three-level frequentist model was poor. The deviance information criterion (DIC) and the widely applicable information criterion (WAIC) are employed to choose between the two-level Bayesian hierarchical model and the three-level Bayesian hierarchical model, where the results showed that the best fitting model was the three-level Bayesian hierarchical model.