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Smart cities: Using conservation laws to control traffic lights and speed limits

Photo: Kjetil Olsen Lye


Road congestion is a common problem in modern cities, and several approaches are being tried to amend the issue. In this project, we propose a mathematical approach for finding settings for traffic lights and speed limits that optimizes traffic flow. The approach is flexible and allows to prioritize optimal settings for parts of the traffic flow, e.g., public transport.

You will utilize non-linear conservation laws to model traffic density, and use integer programming (optimization where the parameters are bound to be integers) to determine the best possible configuration.

This project is a key component in making smart cities -- smart cities need smart traffic control.

Learning outcomes
- Fundamentals for numerical solutions of scalar non-linear conservation laws
- Integer optimization
- (Optional) High-performance computing for fast solutions of the conservation law
- (Optional) Data-assimilation for priming the model with observed traffic density

Illustration: Franz G. Fuchs

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