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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 580546, 9 pages
Research Article

A Method of Signal Timing Optimization for Spillover Dissipation in Urban Street Networks

1College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150091, China
3College of Automation, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100101, China

Received 2 November 2012; Accepted 3 February 2013

Academic Editor: Wudhichai Assawinchaichote

Copyright © 2013 Dongfang Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The precise identification and quick dissipation of spillovers are critically important in a traffic control system, especially when heavy congestion occurs. This paper first presents a calculation method for the occupancy per cycle under different traffic conditions and identifies the threshold of occupancy that characterizes the formation of spillovers. Then, capacity adjustments are determined for the incoming and outgoing streams of bottleneck links, with the aim of dissipating the queue to a permissible length within a given period of time, and optimization schemes are defined to calculate splits for the upstream and downstream intersections. Finally, taking average vehicular delay, outputs per cycle, and maximum queue length on the bottleneck link as the evaluation indices, the method of dissipating spillovers proposed in this paper is evaluated using a VISSIM simulation. The results show that the maximum queue length on the bottleneck link and the average vehicular delay at the upstream and downstream intersections decrease significantly under the new signal control plan; meanwhile, the new control schemes have little influence on the outputs of the two intersections per cycle.