Departure rates optimization and perimeter control: Comparison and cooperation in a multi-region urban network

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With the renewed interest in the Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD) in the last decade, studies on network-level urban traffic control have increased in popularity. A popular urban traffic control approach is perimeter control, in which vehicle accumulation is kept below some critical accumulation value. An alternative control strategy is to optimize time series of departure rates as a means to limit inflows into the (sub)network. In this paper we test how these approaches compare in terms of minimizing total time spent (TTS), and whether network performance can be improved by combining these two approaches. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, answers to these two questions are still missing. Our findings indicate that—for a particular multi-region network under a specific demand profile—optimizing departure rates outperforms perimeter control. Particularly, we find that the combination of perimeter control and departure rates optimization may even have adverse effects on minimizing TTS, compared to optimizing departure rates only. We also show that properly over-saturating part of a network could result in less TTS than under the application of a perimeter control, which keeps the accumulation under the critical accumulation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraffic and Granular Flow 2019
EditorsIker Zuriguel, Angel Garcimartín, Raúl Cruz Hidalgo
Place of PublicationSpringer
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-55973-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-55972-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event13th Conference on Traffic and Granular Flow, TGF 2019 - Pamplona, Spain
Duration: 2 Jul 20195 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Physics
ISSN (Print)0930-8989
ISSN (Electronic)1867-4941


Conference13th Conference on Traffic and Granular Flow, TGF 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Departure rates optimization
  • Macroscopic fundamental diagram
  • Network traffic flow
  • Perimeter control


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