Real-time dynamic traffic assignment and path-based signal coordination: Application to network traffic management

Khaled F. Abdelghany, Didier M. Valdes, Akmal S. Abdelfatah, Hani S. Mahmassani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


As an example of integrating signal control with network traffic assignment, the notion of path-based signal coordination in transportation networks is introduced and illustrated. The use of a real-time dynamic traffic assignment system allows prediction of the traffic flow patterns and identification of the dominant paths in the network. The signalized intersections along these paths, which may consist of combinations of straight sections and turning movements, are coordinated to increase the capacity of the freeway and the surface street system to efficiently absorb diverted traffic from the freeway. A set of experiments is designed to compare the network performance under the path-based coordination scheme with no coordination and arterial-based coordination. The experiments are conducted for both pretimed and vehicle-actuated signal control. An actual network, which represents the south-central part of the Fort Worth area, is used in these experiments. The network consists of a freeway (I-35W) surrounded by a street network with a total of 178 nodes and 441 arcs. The path-based coordination scheme is shown to outperform arterial-based coordination in the cases of both pretimed fixed control and vehicle-actuated signal control. A significant reduction in the network average travel time under the path-based coordination scheme is observed compared with the other schemes. This application further illustrates the benefits of real-time dynamic traffic assignment for advanced traffic management under incident conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1667
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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