A genetic programming system with an epigenetic mechanism for traffic signal control

González, Esteban Ricalde (2019) A genetic programming system with an epigenetic mechanism for traffic signal control. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Traffic congestion is an increasing problem in most cities around the world. It impacts businesses as well as commuters, small cities and large ones in developing as well as developed economies. One approach to decrease urban traffic congestion is to optimize the traffic signal behaviour in order to be adaptive to changes in the traffic conditions. From the perspective of intelligent transportation systems, this optimization problem is called the traffic signal control problem and is considered a large combinatorial problem with high complexity and uncertainty. A novel approach to the traffic signal control problem is proposed in this thesis. The approach includes a new mechanism for Genetic Programming inspired by Epigenetics. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in biological processes such as phenotype differentiation, memory consolidation within generations and environmentally induced epigenetic modification of behaviour. These properties lead us to consider the implementation of epigenetic mechanisms as a way to improve the performance of Evolutionary Algorithms in solution to real-world problems with dynamic environmental changes, such as the traffic control signal problem. The epigenetic mechanism proposed was evaluated in four traffic scenarios with different properties and traffic conditions using two microscopic simulators. The results of these experiments indicate that Genetic Programming was able to generate competitive actuated traffic signal controllers for all the scenarios tested. Furthermore, the use of the epigenetic mechanism improved the performance of Genetic Programming in all the scenarios. The evolved controllers adapt to modifications in the traffic density and require less monitoring and less human interaction than other solutions because they dynamically adjust the signal behaviour depending on the local traffic conditions at each intersection.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13780
Item ID: 13780
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 139-162).
Keywords: Genetic Programming, Dynamic Environment, Epigenetic Mechanism, Traffic Signal Control, Traffic Simulation
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Computer Science
Date: February 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Traffic signs and signals--Control systems--Computer simulation; Traffic congestion--Computer simulation; Genetic programming (Computer science)

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