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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

While the cost of road traffic fatalities in the U.S. surpasses $240 billion a year, the availability of high-resolution datasets allows meticulous investigation of the contributing factors to crash severity. In this paper, the dataset for Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents in 2010 (TIFA 2010) is utilized to classify the truck-involved crash severity where there exist different issues including missing values, imbalanced classes, and high dimensionality. First, a decision tree-based algorithm, the Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE), and the Random Forest (RF) feature importance approach are employed for missing value imputation, minority class oversampling, and dimensionality reduction, respectively. Afterward, a variety of classification algorithms, including RF, K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP), Gradient-Boosted Decision Trees (GBDT), and Support Vector Machine (SVM) are developed to reveal the influence of the introduced data preprocessing framework on the output quality of ML classifiers. The results show that the GBDT model outperforms all the other competing algorithms for the non-preprocessed crash data based on the G-mean performance measure, but the RF makes the most accurate prediction for the treated dataset. This finding indicates that after the feature selection is conducted to alleviate the computational cost of the machine learning algorithms, bagging (bootstrap aggregating) of decision trees in RF leads to a better model rather than boosting them via GBDT. Besides, the adopted feature importance approach decreases the overall accuracy by only up to 5% in most of the estimated models. Moreover, the worst class recall value of the RF algorithm without prior oversampling is only 34.4% compared to the corresponding value of 90.3% in the up-sampled model which validates the proposed multi-step preprocessing scheme. This study also identifies the temporal and spatial (roadway) attributes, as well as crash characteristics, and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) as the most critical factors in truck crash severity.

Mohammadpour Seyed Iman, Khedmati Majid, Zada Mohammad Javad Hassan