Evaluation of ramp control algorithms using a microscopic traffic simulation laboratory, MITSIM
Author(s)Hasan, Masroor, 1970-
Moshe E. Ben-Akiva nad Mithilesh Jha.
MetadataShow full item record
Ramp metering has emerged as an effective freeway control measure to ensure efficient freeway operations. A number of algorithms have been developed in recent years to ensure an effective use of ramp metering. As the performance of ramp metering depends on various factors (e.g. traffic volume, downstream traffic conditions, queue override policy etc), these algorithms should be evaluated under a wide range of traffic conditions to check their applicability and performance and to ensure their successful implementation. In view of the expenses of and confounding effects in field testing, simulation plays an important role in the evaluation of such algorithms. This thesis presents an evaluation study of two ramp metering algorithms: ALINEA and FLOW. ALINEA is a local control algorithm and FLOW is an area wide coordinated algorithm. The purpose of the study is to use microscopic simulation to evaluate systematically how the level of traffic demand, queue spillback handling policy and downstream bottleneck conditions affect the performance of the algorithms. It is believed that these variables have complex interactions with ramp metering. MITSIM microscopic traffic simulator is used to perform the empirical study. It is argued that an explicit modeling of merging behavior is necessary for an appropriate evaluation of ramp control algorithms and therefore, a microscopic simulation model should be used. The study consists of two stages. In the first stage, key input parameters for the algorithms were identified and calibrated. The calibrated parameters were then used for the second stage, where the performance of the algorithms were compared with respect to three traffic variables mentioned above using an orthogonal fraction of experiments. It was observed that for many of the scenarios, particularly at low demands, metering significantly increased system travel time. However, with proper calibration, the algorithms improved mainline as well as ramp conditions at high demands. A ramp queue storage length smaller than the physical length of the ramp was found to produce better performance. Regression analysis was used to identify the impacts of some of the interactions among experimental factors on the algorithms' performance, which is not otherwise possible with a tabular analysis. These results provide insights which may be helpful for design and calibration of more efficient ramp control algorithms.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (p. 77-80).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering