Planning and Scheduling for Traffic Control

author: Scott Sanner, NICTA
published: Nov. 15, 2010,   recorded: May 2010,   views: 4207


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The ubiquity of urban traffic congestion and the fundamental impact that better traffic control can have on urban environments makes it an important research topic for the automated planning and scheduling community. To reduce traffic congestion by just 10% can have massive economic, environmental, and social benefits for urban communities. While a great deal of traffic theory has been developed over the years, the practical techniques utilized in most urban traffic control situations are surprisingly simple and rely on extensive manual tuning via trial and error; in a nutshell, there is a lot of room for improvement for automated traffic control techniques that can deal with the full complexities of traffic management in an online control setting. The purpose of this tutorial is to describe the theory of traffic simulation (basic modeling including micro- and macro-simulation) and control (single and multi-intersection control from both theoretical and practical perspectives) in order to expose the research topics (extremely large continuous state spaces, highly parallel continuous action spaces with nonlinear effects) that need to be addressed if the planning and scheduling community is to make progress in this challenging, but high-impact application domain.

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