March 5, 2010

Next Generation of Adaptive Traffic Signal Control


Dr. Pitu Mirchandani, STC Distinguished Speaker, Professor of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and Director of the ATLAS Laboratory at Arizona State University


Currently, adaptive traffic signal control systems often require a major investment of resources for both initial installation and subsequent maintenance. The next generation traffic signal system will be easy to install, easy to maintain, operator friendly, and reliable, through what may be referred to as a self-adaptive traffic signal system that observes (through camera-based and other sensors) the traffic in the network, predicts the traffic demands and conditions for a short-term horizon, and sets phase durations to optimize an objective specified by the jurisdiction; where the optimization objective may include measures related to delays, safety, emissions, etc. as long as the corresponding performance measures may be monitored in real-time. With a self-adaptive signal control system in place, the next logical step is to expand the system further to include IntelliDrive technologies (IDT). Through the use of IDT, information on a vehicle’s current location, destination, speed, acceleration, etc. can be available throughout its journey, greatly expanding the ability of signal control systems to efficiently allocate available green times to handle varying traffic demands on the network. The talk will discuss some initial attempts to develop the Next Generation RHODES adaptive traffic control system, supported though a FHWA grant, where advanced algorithms will utilize the available rich data flow in new ways to extract RHODES’ timing parameters automatically, rather than requiring periodic traffic studies to collect information about turn proportions, travel times, etc.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Pitu Mirchandani (BS, Engineering, UCLA; SM, Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT; ScD, Operations Research, MIT).is a Professor of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and Director of the ATLAS Laboratory at Arizona State University.
His areas of technical expertise and interests include theories, models and algorithms in systems engineering, and their application to transportation, logistics, emergency management and real-time information and control systems.  His recent research projects have focused on Advanced Traffic Management Systems and Modeling of Information/Traffic Flow Interactions.  He has co-authored two books and over 100 articles in a variety of journals, magazines and books.  He has been on the editorial boards of: IIE Transactions-Scheduling and Logistics; Transportation Science; Journal of Industrial Mathematics, Journal for Advanced Transportation; and Journal of Technology, Policy and Management. He is a member of IEEE, INFORMS, IIE, POMS, TRB, and a charter member of ITS-Arizona, and past member of ACM and ITS America. In 2008, ITS-Arizona gave him the “The Member of the Year” award.