AAAI Publications, Twenty-Third International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling

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Smart Urban Signal Networks: Initial Application of the SURTRAC Adaptive Traffic Signal Control System
Stephen F. Smith, Gregory J. Barlow, Xiao-Feng Xie, Zachary B. Rubinstein

Last modified: 2013-06-02


In this paper, we describe a pilot implementation and field test of a recently developed approach to real-time adaptive traffic signal control. The pilot system, called SURTRAC (Scalable Urban Traffic Control), follows the perspective of recent work in multi-agent planning and implements a decentralized, schedule-driven approach to traffic signal control. Under this approach, each intersection independently (and asynchronously) computes a schedule that optimizes the flow of currently approaching traffic through that intersection, and uses this schedule to decide when to switch green phases. The traffic outflows projected by this schedule are then communicated to the intersection's downstream neighbors, to increase visibility of vehicles entering their respective planning horizons. This process is repeated as frequently as once per second in rolling horizon fashion, to provide real-time responsiveness to changing traffic conditions and coordinated signal network behavior. After summarizing this basic approach to adaptive traffic signal control and the domain challenges it is intended to address, we describe the pilot implementation of SURTRAC and its application to a nine-intersection road network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both the SURTRAC architecture for interfacing with the detection equipment, hardware controller and communication network at a given intersection and the extensions required to account for unreliable sensor data are discussed. Finally, we present the results of a pilot test of the system, where SURTRAC is seen to achieve major reductions in travel times and vehicle emissions over pre-existing signal timings.


Distributed Planning and Scheduling, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Adaptive Traffic Signal Control

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