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Offline Arterial Signal Timing Optimization based on Virtual Phase Link Model - A Real-world Case Study...

by Qichao Wang, Joseph Severino, Juliette Ugirumurera, Wesley Jones, Jibonananda Sanyal
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
TRB Annual Meeting Online
Book Title
Transportation Research Board 100th Annual Meeting
Publication Date
Publisher Location
District of Columbia, United States of America
Conference Name
TRB Annual Meeting
Conference Location
Virtual, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Conventional signal timing for arterial usually takes bottom-up approaches. Engineers optimize each individual intersection first and then coordinate them by adjusting the offsets. This work is based on the Virtual Phase-Link (VPL) model, a street traffic model designed for online traffic model predictive control, to obtain a top-down offline arterial signal timing. We Studied the Shallowford Rd. in Chattanooga, TN and found that the inconsistency in intersection capacities along the arterial could lead to some intersections becoming bottlenecks. Signal timing is a significant factor that affect the intersection capacities. We realized that the VPL-based model can guarantee the consistency in intersections along an arterial. We therefore adopted the VPL-based model and developed an offline signal timing optimization approach. The proposed timing derived from the VPL-based offline signal timing optimization showed very good results in simulation. The Chattanooga Department of Transportation adopted the optimized timing obtained from the proposed approach and gave positive feedbacks to the research team. We also collected field experiment data, which demonstrated overall energy reductions and speed improvements on some sections of the Shallowford Rd. arterial. We will continue the experiment when the COVID-19 pandemic impact subsides to have a more robust quantitative evaluation.