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  • Cooperative Automated Vehicle Movement Optimization at Uncontrolled

    Intersections using Distributed Multi-Agent System Modeling

    Abdallah A. Hassan Mahmoud

    Dissertation submitted to the faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in

    partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    In

    Computer Engineering

    Hesham A. Rakha, (Chair)

    Cameron Patterson

    Jung-Min Park

    Haibo Zeng

    Hao Chen

    Dec 14th 2016

    Blacksburg, Virginia

    Keywords: ITS, Automated Vehicles, Uncontrolled Intersections, Networked Intersections,

    Multi-agent Systems, Distributed Systems, Intelligent Agent Cooperation

    Copyright 2016, Abdallah A. Hassan Mahmoud

  • Cooperative Automated Vehicle Movement Optimization at Uncontrolled

    Intersections using Distributed Multi-Agent System Modeling

    Abdallah A. Hassan Mahmoud

    ABSTRACT

    Optimizing connected automated vehicle movements through roadway intersections is a

    challenging problem. Traditional traffic control strategies, such as traffic signals are not optimal,

    especially for heavy traffic. Alternatively, centralized automated vehicle control strategies are

    costly and not scalable given that the ability of a central controller to track and schedule the

    movement of hundreds of vehicles in real-time is highly questionable. In this research, a series of

    fully distributed heuristic algorithms are proposed where vehicles in the vicinity of an intersection

    continuously cooperate with each other to develop a schedule that allows them to safely proceed

    through the intersection while incurring minimum delays. An algorithm is proposed for the case

    of an isolated intersection then a number of algorithms are proposed for a network of intersections

    where neighboring intersections communicate directly or indirectly to help the distributed control

    at each intersection makes a better estimation of traffic in the whole network. An algorithm based

    on the Godunov scheme outperformed optimized signalized control. The simulated experiments

    show significant reductions in the average delay.

    The base algorithm is successfully added to the INTEGRATION micro-simulation model

    and the results demonstrate improvements in delay, fuel consumption, and emissions when

    compared to roundabout, signalized, and stop sign controlled intersections. The study also shows

    the capability of the proposed technique to favor emergency vehicles, producing significant

    increases in mobility with minimum delays to the other vehicles in the network.

  • Cooperative Automated Vehicle Movement Optimization at Uncontrolled

    Intersections using Distributed Multi-Agent System Modeling

    Abdallah A. Hassan Mahmoud

    GENERAL AUDIENCE ABSTRACT

    Intelligent self-driving cars are getting much closer to reality than fiction. Technological advances

    make it feasible to produce such vehicles at low affordable cost. This type of vehicles is also

    promising to significantly reduce car accidents saving people lives and health. Moreover, the

    congested roads in cities and metropolitan areas especially at rush hours can benefit from this

    technology to avoid or at least to reduce the delays experienced by car passengers during their

    trips.

    One major challenge facing the operation of an intelligent self-driving car is how to pass

    an intersection as fast as possible without any collision with cars approaching from other directions

    of the intersection. The use of current traffic lights or stop signs is not the best choice to make the

    best use of the capabilities of future cars.

    In this dissertation, the aim is to study and propose ways to make sure the future

    intersections are ready for such self-driving intelligent cars. Assuming that an intersection has no

    type of traditional controls such as traffic lights or stop signs, this research effort shows how

    vehicles can pass safely with minimum waiting. The proposed techniques focus on providing low-

    cost solutions that do not require installation of expensive devices at intersections that makes it

    difficult to be approved by authorities. The proposed techniques can be applied to intersections of

    various sizes.

    The algorithms in this dissertation carefully design a way for vehicles in a network of

    intersections to communicate and cooperate while passing an intersection. The algorithms are

    extensively compared to the case of using traffic lights, stop signs, and roundabouts. Results show

    significant improvement in delay reduction and fuel consumption when the proposed techniques

    are used.

  • iv

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    The research effort presented in this dissertation is funded by the Connected Vehicle Initiative

    University Transportation Center (CVI-UTC). This work could not have been completed without

    the help of many people in Virginia Tech and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute especially in

    the center for sustainable mobility.

    I am so grateful to Prof. Hesham Rakha who advised this research for his generous support

    throughout the course of this research. I acknowledge the help provided by Yousef Bichiou in the

    MATLAB implementation of the vehicle dynamics model and the implementation of the Godunov

    scheme equations. I also acknowledge the help provided by Hao Yang in implementing the DIVC

    system in the INTEGRATION model. I am also grateful to Mohamed Almannaa for the help with

    the simulation experiments of the optimized signalized control in INTEGRATION. I am also

    grateful to Mohammed Elhenawy for his help with the statistical analysis and interpretation of

    results and for his help while I was preparing some of the figures of this dissertation. I am also

    grateful to Ahmed Roman for help with some of the mathematical formulation used in this

    dissertation.

  • v

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 ......................................................................................................................................... 1

    Introduction and Motivation ........................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 Challenges for Intelligent Transportation Systems ............................................................... 1

    1.2 Automated Vehicles .............................................................................................................. 2

    1.3 Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication .................................................................................... 4

    1.4 Problem Complexity ............................................................................................................. 5

    Chapter 2 ......................................................................................................................................... 7

    Related Work .................................................................................................................................. 7

    2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 7

    2.2 Centralized Methods ............................................................................................................. 7

    2.3 Distributed Methods ............................................................................................................ 11

    2.4 Multi-intersection Methods ................................................................................................. 13

    2.5 Adaptive Signal Control ...................................................................................................... 14

    Chapter 3 ....................................................................................................................................... 15

    A Fully-Distributed Heuristic Algorithm for Control of Automated Vehicle Movements at

    Isolated Intersections .................................................................................................................... 15

    Abstract ..................................................................................................................................... 15

    3.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 16

    3.2 Related Work....................................................................................................................... 18

    3.3 Proposed Algorithm ............................................................................................................ 21

    3.3.1 Overview ...................................................................................................................... 21

    3.3.2 Modeling Agent States ................................................................................................. 24

    3.3.3 Scheduling Algorithm................................................................................................... 26

    3.3.4 Communication Requirements ................................................................................

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