Real-Time Network-Level Traffic Signal Control: An Explicit Multiagent Coordination Method

by   Wanyuan Wang, et al.

Efficient traffic signal control (TSC) has been one of the most useful ways for reducing urban road congestion. Key to the challenge of TSC includes 1) the essential of real-time signal decision, 2) the complexity in traffic dynamics, and 3) the network-level coordination. Recent efforts that applied reinforcement learning (RL) methods can query policies by mapping the traffic state to the signal decision in real-time, however, is inadequate for unexpected traffic flows. By observing real traffic information, online planning methods can compute the signal decisions in a responsive manner. We propose an explicit multiagent coordination (EMC)-based online planning methods that can satisfy adaptive, real-time and network-level TSC. By multiagent, we model each intersection as an autonomous agent, and the coordination efficiency is modeled by a cost (i.e., congestion index) function between neighbor intersections. By network-level coordination, each agent exchanges messages with respect to cost function with its neighbors in a fully decentralized manner. By real-time, the message passing procedure can interrupt at any time when the real time limit is reached and agents select the optimal signal decisions according to the current message. Moreover, we prove our EMC method can guarantee network stability by borrowing ideas from transportation domain. Finally, we test our EMC method in both synthetic and real road network datasets. Experimental results are encouraging: compared to RL and conventional transportation baselines, our EMC method performs reasonably well in terms of adapting to real-time traffic dynamics, minimizing vehicle travel time and scalability to city-scale road networks.


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