A Submodular Approach for Optimal Sensor Placement in Traffic Networks

Negar Mehr, Roberto Horowitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Precious measurements from infrastructure traffic sensors versus their high-priced installation and maintenance costs, make sensor placement a paramount problem for traffic networks. We study sensor placement for traffic networks in two settings. When no routing information is available, we propose to maximize the identifiability of all link flows in the network. When the network routing is known, we use a previously defined metric of minimizing estimation error of a BLUE (Best Linear Unbiased Estimator) estimator. We prove that in both cases, the problem is submodular. By exploiting the submodularity of the problem, we can use polynomial-time approximations of the combinatorial placement problem with guaranteed optimality bounds, which is of importance due to the inherent large-scale nature of transportation networks. We demonstrate the performance of our method in a grid example network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781538654286
StatePublished - Aug 9 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018 - Milwauke, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2018Jun 29 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2018 Annual American Control Conference, ACC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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