MSc Thesis Proposal

Modeling and control of urban traffic

Mentors: M. van den Berg and B. De Schutter

Keywords: traffic, modeling, control, optimization

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.

In this proposal we consider modeling and control of traffic flows in and around cities. More specifically we are interested in investigating the influence of better traffic signal 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 signal switching scheme, the number of vehicles that enter or leave the city, weather conditions, etc. Next we shall use this model to develop optimal traffic signal control strategies that aim at minimizing objective functions such as average queue length, average waiting time, worst case waiting time, and so on. We will also investigate the local and global effects of the designed controllers. For large urban traffic networks we will also consider multi-agent control strategies.

As a first case study we have the situation in and around Delft in mind.

If you are interested in selecting this project as your MSc project, please come along or send us an email for more information.

This page is maintained by Bart De Schutter.