Strategic Planning for Equitable RWIS Implementation: A Comprehensive Study Incorporating a Multi-variable Semivariogram Model


  • Simita Biswas

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G2W2, Canada

  • Tae J. Kwon

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G2W2, Canada


Received: 19 September 2023 | Revised: 25 October 2023 | Accepted: 26 October 2023 | Published Online: 10 November 2023


This paper extends the previously developed method of optimizing Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) station placement by unveiling a sophisticated multi-variable semivariogram model that concurrently considers multiple vital road weather variables. Previous research primarily centered on single-variable analysis focusing on road surface temperature (RST). The study bridges this oversight by introducing a framework that integrates multiple critical weather variables into the RWIS location allocation framework. This novel approach ensures balanced and equitable RWIS distribution across zones and aligns the network with areas both prone to traffic accidents and areas of high uncertainty. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this refinement, the authors applied the framework to Maine’s existing RWIS network, conducted a gap analysis through varying planning scenarios and generated optimal solutions using a heuristic optimization algorithm. The analysis identified areas that would benefit most from additional RWIS stations and guided optimal resource utilization across different road types and priority locations. A sensitivity analysis was also performed to evaluate the effect of different weightings for weather and traffic factors on the selection of optimal locations. The location solutions generated have been adopted by MaineDOT for future implementations, attesting to the model’s practicality and signifying an important advancement for more effective management of road weather conditions.


RWIS, Location optimization, Multi-variable semivariogram, Heuristics, Spatial simulated annealing (SSA), Collision rate (CR)


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How to Cite

Biswas, S., & Kwon, T. J. (2023). Strategic Planning for Equitable RWIS Implementation: A Comprehensive Study Incorporating a Multi-variable Semivariogram Model. Journal of Geographical Research, 6(4), 54–72.


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