An automated signalized junction controller that learns strategies by temporal difference reinforcement learning

Box, S. and Waterson, B. (2012) An automated signalized junction controller that learns strategies by temporal difference reinforcement learning. Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 26, (1), 652-659. (doi:10.1016/j.engappai.2012.02.013).


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This paper shows how temporal difference learning can be used to build a signalized junction controller that will learn its own strategies through experience. Simulation tests detailed here show that the learned strategies can have high performance. This work builds upon previous work where a neural network based junction controller that can learn strategies from a human expert was developed. In the simulations presented, vehicles are assumed to be broadcasting their position over WiFi giving the junction controller rich information. The vehicle’s position data are pre-processed to describe a simplified state. The state-space is classified into regions associated with junction control decisions using a neural network. This classification is the strategy and is parameterized by the weights of the neural network. The weights can be learned either through supervised learning with a human trainer or reinforcement learning by temporal difference (TD).Tests on a model of an isolated T junction show an average delay of 14.12s and 14.36s respectively for the human trained and TD trained networks. Tests on a model of a pair of closely spaced junctions show 17.44s and 20.82s respectively. Both methods of training produced strategies that were approximately equivalent in their equitable treatment of vehicles, defined here as the variance over the journey time distributions.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.engappai.2012.02.013
ISSNs: 0952-1976 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and the Environment > Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science > Transportation Research Group
ePrint ID: 336298
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
17 March 2012Made publicly available
January 2013Published
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 11:35
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:25

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