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ACM TechNews

Organic Traffic Control

Researchers in Germany believe organic computing has the potential to solve the problems of urban traffic systems, which rely on sensors and controllers. Using an organic approach, Holger Prothmann of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and colleagues have developed a decentralized traffic control system. "The organic approach is based on industry-standard traffic light controllers," Prothmann says.

The researchers developed an observer/controller architecture, which enables the traffic light to respond to traffic flow and to forward information to traffic lights on nearby roads. Current systems use fixed timers that are unable to respond directly to traffic, and centralized systems are unable to respond optimally to changes in traffic on the roads.

Working with colleagues at Karlsruhe and at Leibniz Universitat Hannover, Prothmann tested the decentralized traffic control system on roads in Hamburg, and found that it can reduce vehicle stops, delays, and the time needed to reach destinations. "The environmental and economic importance of traffic control systems combined with the distributed nature of traffic nodes and their constantly changing traffic demands make traffic light control an ideal test case for organic computing approaches," Prothmann says.

From Inderscience Publishers
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