Networks and Spatial Economics

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 179-203

First online:

The Importance of Traffic Flow Modeling for Motorway Traffic Control

  • A. KotsialosAffiliated withDynamic Systems and Simulation Laboratory, Technical University of Crete
  • , M. PapageorgiouAffiliated withDynamic Systems and Simulation Laboratory, Technical University of Crete

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The problem of traffic congestion in modern day motorways calls for the design and implementation of efficient control strategies. It is argued in this paper that in order to have efficient, generic, and systematic solutions to a wide range of traffic control problems, macroscopic motorway traffic flow models in state-space form, that are relevant for the control problem and computationally non-intensive, are most appropriate. Such models allow the exploitation of available powerful, systematic, and theoretically supported automatic control concepts. Based on these concepts an Extended Kalman Filter for traffic state estimation, a multivariable LQI controller for coordinated ramp metering on a motorway stretch, and an integrated optimal control strategy for motorway networks are shortly presented. The criteria of a model's relevance for a given traffic control problem and its computational requirements are subsequently examined. Finally, the application of an advanced coordinated ramp metering control strategy, based on the optimal control approach, to the ring-road of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is provided as an illustrative example.

traffic control traffic flow models traffic state estimation ramp metering optimal control