An intelligent control system for traffic lights with simulation-based evaluation

Junchen Jin, Xiaoliang Ma*, Iisakki Kosonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces an intelligent control system for traffic signal applications, called Fuzzy Intelligent Traffic Signal (FITS) control. It provides a convenient and economic approach to improve existing traffic light infrastructure. The control system is programmed on an intermediate hardware device capable of receiving messages from signal controller hardware as well as overriding traffic light indications during real-time operations. Signal control and optimization toolboxes are integrated into the embedded software in the FITS hardware device. A fuzzy logic based control has been implemented in FITS. In order to evaluate the effects of FITS system, this study attempts to develop a computational framework to evaluate FITS system using microscopic traffic simulation. A case study is carried out, comparing different commonly used signal control strategies with the FITS control approach. The simulation results show that the control system has the potential to improve traffic mobility, compared to all of the tested signal control strategies, due to its ability in generating flexible phase structures and making intelligent timing decisions. In addition, the effects of detector malfunction are also investigated in this study. The experiment results show that FITS exhibits superior performance than several other controllers when a few detectors are out-of-order due to its self-diagnostics feature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adaptive traffic signal control
  • Embedded system
  • Fuzzy control
  • Real-time traffic simulation


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