Remote simulation to evaluate real-time traffic control strategies

D. E. Lucas, P. B. Mirchandani, K. L. Head

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Simulation is a valuable tool for evaluating the effects of various changes in a transportation system. This is especially true in the case of real-time traffic-adaptive control systems, which must undergo extensive testing in a laboratory setting before being implemented in a field environment. Various types of simulation environments are available, from software-only to hardware-in-the-loop simulations, each of which has a role to play in the implementation of a traffic control system. The RHODES (real-time hierarchical optimized distributed effective system) real-time traffic-adaptive control system was followed as it progressed from a laboratory project toward actual field implementation. The traditional software-only simulation environment and extensions to a hardware-in-the-loop simulation are presented in describing the migration of RHODES onto the traffic controller hardware itself. In addition, a new enhancement to the standard software-only simulation that allows remote access is described. The enhancement removes the requirement that both the simulation and the traffic control scheme reside locally. This architecture is capable of supporting any traffic simulation package that satisfies specific input-output data requirements. This remote simulation environment was tested with several different types of networks and was found to perform in the same manner as its local counterpart. Remote simulation has all of the advantages of its local counterpart, such as control and flexibility, with the added benefit of distribution. This remote environment could be used in many different ways and by different groups or individuals, including state or local transportation agencies interested in performing their own evaluations of alternative traffic control systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1727
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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