Coping with Real-World Challenges in Real-Time Urban Traffic Control

In urban road networks, the use of real-time adaptive traffic signal control systems faces two typical challenges. First, various sources of uncertainty and disturbance can significantly degrade the accuracy of real-time flow predictions. Second, the optimization of vehicle flows must also give active attention to other transportation modes such as bus transit and pedestrian flows. In this paper, these challenges are investigated in the context of a recently implemented system called SURTRAC (Scalable URban TRAffic Control), which has now been running continuously in an actual urban environment for more than one year. SURTRAC takes a decentralized, schedule-driven approach to real-time traffic control and its design aims at urban (grid-like) networks with multiple, completing dominant flows that shift through the day. Motivated by observations of the system in operation, several strategies are proposed for strengthening the basic SURTRAC algorithm to better deal with real-world uncertainties and disruptive events, as well as multi-modal traffic demands. We evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies using both simulations and analysis of data collected from the pilot deployment.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AHB25 Traffic Signal Systems.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Xie, Xiao-Feng
    • Smith, Stephen F
    • Barlow, Gregory J
    • Chen, Ting-Wei
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2014


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01517577
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 14-2103
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 10 2014 9:24AM