Emergency traffic-light control system design for intersections subject to accidents

Liang Qi, Mengchu Zhou, Wenjing Luan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Petri nets (PNs) are well utilized as a visual andmathematical formalism to model discrete-event systems. This paper uses deterministic and stochastic PNs to design an emergency traffic-light control system for intersections providing emergency response to deal with accidents. According to blocked crossing sections, as depicted by dynamic PN models, the corresponding emergency traffic-light strategies are designed to ensure the safety of an intersection. The cooperation among traffic lights/facilities at those affected intersections and roads is illustrated. For the upstream neighboring intersections, a traffic-signal-based emergency control policy is designed to help prevent accident-induced large-scale congestion. Deadlock recovery, livelock prevention, and conflict resolution strategies are developed. We adopt a reachability analysis method to verify the constructed model. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that employs PNs to model and design a real-time traffic emergency system for intersections facing accidents. It can be used to improve the state of the art in real-time traffic accident management and traffic safety at intersections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7268911
Pages (from-to)170-183
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Accident at intersections
  • Discrete-event systems
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Petri nets
  • Traffic congestion
  • Traffic light control


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