Traffic flow on realistic road networks with adaptive traffic lights

Jan de Gier, Tim Garoni, Omar Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


We present a model of traffic flow on generic urban road networks based on cellular automata. We apply this model to an existing road network in the Australian city of Melbourne, using empirical data as input. For comparison, we also apply this model to a square-grid network using hypothetical input data. On both networks we compare the effects of non-adaptive versus adaptive traffic lights, in which instantaneous traffic state information feeds back into the traffic signal schedule. We observe that not only do adaptive traffic lights result in better averages of network observables, they also lead to significantly smaller fluctuations in these observables. We furthermore compare two different systems of adaptive traffic signals, one which is informed by the traffic state on both upstream and downstream links and one which is informed by upstream links only. We find that, in general, both the mean and the fluctuation of the travel time are smallest when using the joint upstream-downstream control strategy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 43
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this