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Modeling and control of urban or highway traffic systems

Subject: Modeling and control of urban or highway traffic systems
Staff Mentor: B. De Schutter
Other Mentor(s):
Keywords: Modeling and analysis; Optimal and model predictive control; Automotive and intelligent transportation systems
Description: Due to the increasing number of vehicles and the increasing demand for mobility, transportation problems in and around large cities are becoming more and more acute every day. Traffic jams do not only cause considerable costs due to unproductive time losses; they also augment the possibility of accidents and have a negative impact on the environment (air pollution, increased fuel consumption) and on the quality of life (noise, stress). Since traffic congestion is such a pressing problem, there certainly is a need for measures that can be implemented on the short term. One of the short term measures that can be taken to solve the traffic congestion problem - or, at least, to alleviate it - is to augment the capacity of the existing infrastructure by regulating and redirecting the traffic flow. We distinguish between traffic on (urban) intersections and traffic on highways.

In this proposal both directions are considered and depending on the interests of the student one of the following topics can be selected:

  • modeling and control of traffic flows in and around cities
    More specifically we are interested in investigating the influence of better traffic light control policies on controlling or preventing traffic jams in urban environments. First we shall derive models that describe the number of vehicles in the different lanes at an intersection or in a network of intersections as a function of time, the traffic light switching scheme, the number of vehicles that enter or leave the city, wheather conditions, etc. Next we shall use this model to develop optimal traffic light control strategies that aim at minimizing objective functions such as average queue length, average waiting time, worst case waiting time, and so on.
    As a first case study we have the situation in and around Delft in mind.

  • modeling and control of traffic flows on highways
    Here we shall also start by developing a model that describes the traffic flows on the highway. Next we shall investigate how control measures such as dynamic route information panels, variable message signs, ramp metering, velocity etc. can be used optimally to decrease the lengths and the frequency of occurrence of traffic jams.

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Last modified: 14 April 2008, 12:07 UTC
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