A. Hegyi, B. De Schutter, and H. Hellendoorn, "Model predictive control for optimal coordination of ramp metering and variable speed limits," Transportation Research Part C, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 185-209, June 2005.
This paper discusses the optimal coordination of variable speed limits and ramp metering in a freeway traffic network, where the objective of the control is to minimize the total time that vehicles spend in the network. Coordinated freeway traffic control is a new development where the control problem is to find the combination of control measures that results in the best network performance. This problem is solved by model predictive control, where the macroscopic traffic flow model METANET is used as the prediction model. We extend this model with a model for dynamic speed limits and for mainstream origins. This approach results in a predictive coordinated control approach where variable speed limits can prevent a traffic breakdown and maintain a higher outflow even when ramp metering is unable to prevent congestion (e.g., because of an on-ramp queue constraint). The use of dynamic speed limits significantly reduces congestion and results in a lower total time spent. Since the primary effect of the speed limits is the limitation of the main-stream flow, a comparison is made with the case where the speed limits are replaced by main-stream metering. The resulting performances are comparable. Since the range of flows that main-stream metering and dynamic speed limits can control is different, it is concluded that the choice between the two should be primarily based on the traffic demands.