A Program for Simultaneous Network Signal Timing Optimization and Traffic Assignment

Ali Hajbabaie, Rahim F. Benekohal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study formulates a program for simultaneous traffic signal optimization and system optimal traffic assignment for urban transportation networks with added degree of realism. The formulation presents a new objective function, i.e., weighted trip maximization, and explicit constraints that are specifically designed to address oversaturated conditions. This formulation improves system-wise performance while locally prevents queue spillovers, de-facto reds, and gridlocks. A meta-heuristic algorithm is developed that incorporates microscopic traffic flow models and system optimal traffic assignment in genetic algorithms. This solution technique efficiently optimizes signal timing parameters, at the same time solves system optimal traffic assignment, and accounts for oversaturated conditions and different driver's behaviors. This study also proposes a framework to calculate an upper bound on the value of the objective function by solving the problem while several constraints (i.e., network loading and traffic assignment) are relaxed. An empirical case study for a portion of downtown Springfield, Illinois has been conducted under four demand patterns. Findings indicate that our solution approach can solve the problem effectively. Several managerial insights have also been drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7081786
Pages (from-to)2573-2586
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Network signal timing optimization
  • genetic algorithms
  • objective function upper-bound
  • system optimal
  • traffic assignment
  • weighted trip maximization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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