Macroscopic modelling and robust control of bi-modal multi-region urban road networks

Konstantinos Ampountolas, Nan Zheng, Nikolas Geroliminis

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75 Citations (Scopus)


The paper concerns the integration of a bi-modal Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD) modelling for mixed traffic in a robust control framework for congested single- and multi-region urban networks. The bi-modal MFD relates the accumulation of cars and buses and the outflow (or circulating flow) in homogeneous (both in the spatial distribution of congestion and the spatial mode mixture) bi-modal traffic networks. We introduce the composition of traffic in the network as a parameter that affects the shape of the bi-modal MFD. A linear parameter varying model with uncertain parameter the vehicle composition approximates the original nonlinear system of aggregated dynamics when it is near the equilibrium point for single- and multi-region cities governed by bi-modal MFDs. This model aims at designing a robust perimeter and boundary flow controller for single- and multi-region networks that guarantees robust regulation and stability, and thus smooth and efficient operations, given that vehicle composition is a slow time-varying parameter. The control gain of the robust controller is calculated off-line using convex optimisation. To evaluate the proposed scheme, an extensive simulation-based study for single- and multi-region networks is carried out. To this end, the heterogeneous network of San Francisco where buses and cars share the same infrastructure is partitioned into two homogeneous regions with different modes of composition. The proposed robust control is compared with an optimised pre-timed signal plan and a single-region perimeter control strategy. Results show that the proposed robust control can significantly: (i) reduce the overall congestion in the network; (ii) improve the traffic performance of buses in terms of travel delays and schedule reliability, and; (iii) avoid queues and gridlocks on critical paths of the network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-637
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Convex optimisation
  • Heterogeneous urban road networks
  • Macroscopic fundamental diagram (MFD)
  • Perimeter and boundary flow control
  • Robust control

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