Koopman operator applications in signalized traffic systems

E. Ling, L. Zheng, L. Ratliff, S. Coogan
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2022


This paper proposes Koopman operator theory and the related algorithm dynamical mode decomposition (DMD) for analysis and control of signalized traffic flow networks. DMD provides a model-free approach for representing complex oscillatory dynamics from measured data, and we study its application to several problems in signalized traffic. We first study a single signalized intersection, and we propose applying this method to infer traffic signal control parameters such as phase timing directly from traffic flow data. Next, we propose using the oscillatory modes of the Koopman operator, approximated with DMD, for early identification of unstable queue growth that has the potential to cause cascading congestion. Then we demonstrate how DMD can be coupled with knowledge of the traffic signal control status to determine traffic signal control parameters that are able to reduce queue lengths. Lastly, we demonstrate that DMD allows for determining the structure and the strength of interactions in a network of signalized intersections. All examples are demonstrated using a case study network instrumented with high resolution traffic flow sensors.