A Switching-Based Adaptive Dynamic Programming Method to Optimal Traffic Signaling

Di Liu, Wenwu Yu, Simone Baldi, Jinde Cao, Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


The work presented in this paper concerns a switching-based control formulation for multi-intersection and multiphase traffic light systems. A macroscopic traffic flow modeling approach is first presented, which is instrumental to the development of a model-based and switching-based optimization method for traffic signal operation, in the framework of adaptive dynamic programming (ADP). The main advantage of the switching-based formulation is its capability to determine both 'when' to switch and 'which' mode to switch on without the need to use the cycle-based average flow approximation typical of state-of-the-art formulations. In addition, the framework can handle different cycle times across intersections without the need for synchronization constraints and, moreover, minimum dwell-time constraints can be directly enforced to comply with minimum green/red times in each phase. The simulation experiments on a multi-intersection and multiphase traffic light systems are presented to show the effectiveness of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4160-4170
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adaptive dynamic programming (ADP)
  • dwell-time switching
  • model-based and switching-based optimization
  • traffic flow model
  • traffic signal operation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Switching-Based Adaptive Dynamic Programming Method to Optimal Traffic Signaling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this