Thomas Library

Honors Thesis Archive

Author Emilie Larned
Title The Optimization of the Scheduling of Traffic Lights
Department Mathematics & Computer Science
Advisors Flavia Sancier-Barbosa, Adam Parker, and Ralph Lenz
Year 2014
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (5260 KB) Note: This is a very large file; it may be easier to download the file to your computer and open it from there.
Abstract In the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, in Springfield, Ohio, it was observed that the scheduling and synchronization of a sequence of traffic lights in four local intersections on N. Plum St. (which becomes N. Yellow Springs St., then turning into S. Yellow Springs St.) lacked a unifying coordination in the northbound and southbound directions. The current synchronization appeared to place very little weight on the northbound and southbound traffic flows. Each northbound car that arrived at this set of lights was stopped by at least two, if not three of the intersection lights. A solution to this dilemma ended up being a project consisting of the optimization and synchronization of the scheduling of these traffic lights, placing the emphasis on coordinating the northbound and southbound traffic flows. This goal was accomplished using a combination of three branches of mathematics: graph theory, optimization, and simulation. Graph theory was used to determine the compatibilities of the different traffic flows in each intersection: northbound, southbound, eastbound or westbound. An optimization problem was set up and solved as a linear program that maximized the total amount of green time at each intersection, allowing for the minimum time necessary for a vehicle to pass through each traffic light. The scheduling of the individually optimized intersections were synchronized and then simulated. After determining a satisfactory conclusion, the results will eventually be presented to the city with the hope that the aforementioned optimization will be considered for implementation.

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