Modeling and Efficient Passenger-Oriented Control for Urban Rail Transit Networks

Xiaoyu Liu*, Azita Dabiri, Yihui Wang, Bart De Schutter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Real-time timetable scheduling is an effective way to improve passenger satisfaction and to reduce operational costs in urban rail transit networks. In this paper, a novel passenger-oriented network model is developed for real-time timetable scheduling that can model time-dependent passenger origin-destination demands with consideration of a balanced trade-off between model accuracy and computation speed. Then, a model predictive control (MPC) approach is proposed for the timetable scheduling problem based on the developed model. The resulting MPC optimization problem is a nonlinear non-convex problem. In this context, the online computational complexity becomes the main issue for the real-time feasibility of MPC. To reduce the online computational complexity, the MPC optimization problem is therefore reformulated into a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problem. The resulting MILP problem is exactly equivalent to the original MPC optimization problem and can be solved very efficiently by existing MILP solvers, so that we can obtain the solution very fast and realize real-time timetable scheduling. Numerical experiments based on a part of Beijing subway network show the effectiveness and efficiency of the developed model and the MILP-based MPC method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3325-3338
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Model predictive control
  • real-time timetable scheduling
  • time-dependent passenger origin-destination demand
  • urban rail transit


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