Traffic Signal Consensus Control

Gerardo Lafferriere, Portland State University

This is a final report, NITC-RR-1165, from the NITC program of TREC at Portland State University, and can be found online at:

The Project Brief associated with this research can be found at:


We introduce a model for traffic signal management based on network consensus control principles. The underlying principle in a consensus approach is that traffic signal cycles are adjusted in a distributed way so as to achieve desirable ratios of queue lengths throughout the street network. This approach tends to reduce traffic congestion due to queue saturation at any particular city block and it appears less susceptible to congestion due to unexpected traffic loads on the street grid. We developed simulation tools based on the MATLAB computing environment to analyze the use of the mathematical consensus approach to manage the signal control on an urban street network.