Controllability of transportation networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Network-wide traffic control policies determine the optimal values for the different kinds of controllers equipped on a transportation network, with the objective of reducing delays and congestion, improving safety and reaching a target Level of Service. While models and algorithms for these problems have been extensively studied in literature, little attention has been devoted to investigating whether/how different locations, kinds (pricing controllers, traffic lights, …) and amounts of controllers in a network affect the overall performance of network-wide schemes. In this work, we adapt the control-theoretical approach of controllability of complex networks to the specific instance of transportation networks, considering both propagation/spillback dynamics and users’ behavior in terms of route choice. Thanks to the newly developed methodology, we then provide exact solutions to the Full Controllability Pricing Controller Location Problem for transportation networks. Comparing different pricing controller location policies through two artificial test cases, we empirically demonstrate how indeed the amount and kind of controllers in a network strongly affect the level of performance reachable by network-wide control policies, specifically in terms of Total Cost minimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-406
Number of pages26
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Controllability
  • Network-wide traffic control
  • Optimization


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