Recommended CitationBullock, D. M., and M. Abbas. A Real-Time Offset Transitioning Algorithm for Coordinating Traffic Signals. Publication FHWA/IN/JTRP-2001/05. Joint Transportation Research Program, Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 2001. doi: 10.5703/1288284313130.
This report introduces an adaptive real-time offset transitioning algorithm that can be viewed as an integrated optimization approach designed to work with traditional coordinated-actuated systems. The Purdue Real-Time Offset Transitioning Algorithm for Coordinating Traffic Signals (PRO-TRACTS) adds to the controllers the ability to adaptively change their offsets in response to changes in traffic pattern, providing an intermediate solution between traditional coordinated-actuated control systems and adaptive control systems. To facilitate implementation, a new National Transportation Communication for ITS Protocol (NTCIP) object for capturing detector actuation at the controller’s level is defined in this report. The unique cycle-based tabulation of volume and occupancy profiles at upstream detectors is used by a newly defined metric to examine the existence of shockwaves generated due to a poor offset downstream. The procedure is modeled after the analysis of variance testing. This procedure is performed on cycle-by-cycle basis to evaluate the offset performance and adjust it accordingly. Simulations of two case studies revealed 0-16% savings in total travel time and up to 44% saving in total number of stops for the coordinated movement when applied to systems with poor offsets. The algorithm is best suited for arterials with primarily through traffic. Heavy movements from the side streets onto the arterial make it difficult for the algorithm to determine which movement should be favored. PRO-TRACTS mitigates problems such as early-return-to-green, waiting queues, and improperly designed offsets using current setups of traffic signals/detectors in the US. The algorithm capitalizes on the existing knowledge and familiarity of traffic engineers and personnel with the current actuated control system to provide a cost-effective solution to improving signal coordination. Future research is needed to improve the stability of the algorithm with highly dispersed platoons and oscillatory traffic patterns caused by situations such as controllers skipping phases due to light traffic volume. It is also recommended that the algorithm should be extended to improve two-way signal progression instead of one-way progression.
offset tuning, traffic signal coordination, coordinated-actuated operation, NTCIP, ITS, shockwave, PRO-TRACTS, Purdue, real-time, platoon, CORSIM, case study, SPR-2391
Joint Transportation Research Program
West Lafayette, IN
Date of this Version