Monte Carlo Tree Search-Based Mixed Traffic Flow Control Algorithm for Arterial Intersections

Yanqiu Cheng, Xianbiao Hu, Qing Tang, Hongsheng Qi, Hong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A model-free approach is presented, based on the Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS) algorithm, for the control of mixed traffic flow of human-driven vehicles (HDV) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), named MCTS-MTF, on a one-lane roadway with signalized intersection control. Previous research has often simplified the problem with certain assumptions to reduce computational burden, such as dividing a vehicle trajectory into several segments with constant speed or linear acceleration/deceleration, which was rather unrealistic. This study departs from the existing research in that minimum constraints on CAV trajectory control were required, as long as the basic rules such as safety considerations and vehicular performance limits were followed. Modeling efforts were made to improve the algorithm solution quality and the run time efficiency over the naïve MCTS algorithm. This was achieved by an exploration-exploitation balance calibration module, and a tree expansion determination module to expand the tree more effectively along the desired direction. Results of a case study found that the proposed algorithm was able to achieve a travel time saving of 3.5% and a fuel consumption saving of 6.5%. It was also demonstrated to run at eight times the speed of a naïve MCTS model, suggesting a promising potential for real-time or near real-time applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-178
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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