Development of Freeway Operational Strategies with IRIS-in-Loop Simulation

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  01/31/2012


Developing efficient and robust traffic control strategies that can directly be implemented in the existing operational environment is of critical importance in improving the effectiveness of freeway management. Currently the freeway network in the Twin Cites is being managed with the Intelligent Road Information System (IRIS), a computerized operating system developed by MnDOT to control the field devices such as ramp meters, variable message signs and loop detectors. This research develops a comprehensive support and development tool for IRIS by integrating it with a microscopic traffic simulator. The resulting IRIS-In-Loop simulation system (ILSS) can be used to emulate and refine various types of freeway operational strategies prior to field implementation. As a first application of ILSS, an alternative ramp metering strategy will be developed in this research and evaluated with ILSS. Further, a computerized process will be developed to estimate a set of traffic condition measures for given freeway corridors with selected time periods. The quantified measures can be used to support different levels of decision making process at MnDOT in planning and operating the freeway network.

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