Reinforcement Learning Approaches for Traffic Signal Control under Missing Data

by   Hao Mei, et al.

The emergence of reinforcement learning (RL) methods in traffic signal control tasks has achieved better performance than conventional rule-based approaches. Most RL approaches require the observation of the environment for the agent to decide which action is optimal for a long-term reward. However, in real-world urban scenarios, missing observation of traffic states may frequently occur due to the lack of sensors, which makes existing RL methods inapplicable on road networks with missing observation. In this work, we aim to control the traffic signals in a real-world setting, where some of the intersections in the road network are not installed with sensors and thus with no direct observations around them. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to use RL methods to tackle the traffic signal control problem in this real-world setting. Specifically, we propose two solutions: the first one imputes the traffic states to enable adaptive control, and the second one imputes both states and rewards to enable adaptive control and the training of RL agents. Through extensive experiments on both synthetic and real-world road network traffic, we reveal that our method outperforms conventional approaches and performs consistently with different missing rates. We also provide further investigations on how missing data influences the performance of our model.


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