Modular design of urban traffic-light control systems based on synchronized timed petri nets

Yi Sheng Huang, Yi Shun Weng, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Timed Petri nets (TPNs) have been utilized as visual formalism for the modeling of complex discrete-event dynamic systems. They illuminate the features in describing the properties of causality and concurrency. Moreover, it is well known that a synchronized TPN (STPN) allows us to present all of the concurrent states in a complex TPN. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to design and analyze an urban traffic network control system by using the STPN. In addition, the applications of the STPN to eight-phase, six-phase, and two-phase traffic-light control systems are modularized. The advantage of the proposed approach is the clear presentation of the behaviors of traffic lights in terms of the conditions and events that cause phase alternations. Moreover, the size of the urban traffic network control system can be easily extended with our proposed modular technique. An analysis of the control models is performed via a reachability graph method to demonstrate how the models enforce the transitions of the traffic lights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6662483
Pages (from-to)530-539
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Modular
  • Petri net (PN)
  • traffic control systems
  • traffic network


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