Towards implementation of max-pressure control on Minnesota roads: Phase 2

Principal Investigator(s):

Raphael Stern, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Michael Levin, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Max-pressure control is a new form of signal timing that is mathematically proven to maximize network throughput. A previous Local Road Research Board (LRRB) project investigated the use of max-pressure control on seven intersections in Hennepin County using microsimulation. Results suggested that max-pressure control could reduce delays on many intersections, but the primary benefit is how max-pressure control adapts to changes in demand. The same control algorithm is used throughout the day and compares favorably with existing actuated-coordinated optimized timings. The next step is experimental deployment on those seven intersections. To achieve that, the project team needs to demonstrate that max-pressure control can be safely deployed on Hennepin County systems, and this project aims to develop such a deployment on a testbed signal.

The project team will obtain and construct a testbed signal controller consisting of an Econolite Cobalt controller, a suitcase signal tester to display signal lights, and an installation of MaxView on a separate computer that interfaces with Econolite over a network. This setup is designed to mimic the essential hardware components that Hennepin County uses for the purposes of testing a novel max-pressure control. The basic plan is to create a new max-pressure software running on the same computer as MaxView. The max-pressure software will read detector pulses from the MaxView application programming interface (API), calculate the optimal signal timing for the next time step, and modify the signal timings in MaxView using the MaxView API. Then, MaxView will upload those timings to Econolite, and researchers can verify their correctness by watching the suitcase tester.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2023002
  • Start date: 08/2022
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow