Reliability-Based Traffic Signal Control for Urban Arterial Roads

F. Zheng, H. J. van Zuylen, Xiaobo Liu, Scott Le Vine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely accepted that travelers value both the reliability of travel time and its mean or expected value. Strategies for traffic signal control typically seek to optimize average travel times, although reliability is in general not explicitly taken into account. In this paper, we propose a new framework for evaluating the consequences of signal-control tactics on both reliability and expected values of travel time, based on an analytic model of travel time distribution. A genetic-algorithm-based approach is then employed to identify optimal multicriteria signal control strategies, including sensitivity analysis, to the relative weighting between reliability and expected value. We expose the properties of the proposed framework via an empirical case study of four alternative optimization approaches (the signal setting optimized with the traditional Webster's method, TRANSYT model, and the newly proposed model) under various traffic conditions. Results indicate that the newly proposed framework outperforms the alternative signal control strategies in terms of both travel-time variability and expected travel time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Analytical models
  • Computational modeling
  • Delays
  • Optimization
  • Reliability
  • Standards
  • Stochastic processes
  • Traffic control
  • genetic algorithm
  • signal optimization
  • travel-time reliability


Dive into the research topics of 'Reliability-Based Traffic Signal Control for Urban Arterial Roads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this