A mesoscopic traffic simulation model to evaluate and optimize signal control plans

Tamir Balasha, Tomer Toledo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design of traffic signal control has a profound impact on the performance of urban traffic systems. The current traffic signal plans involve complex control logic and have many parameters that need to be set. However, little attention has been given to the evaluation of these plans. Simulation-based signal optimization has been limited, mainly as a result of the heavy computational burden associated with it. This paper reports on the overall structure and the various components of a mesoscopic model for traffic simulation to evaluate and optimize complex actuated traffic signal plans. The model is named MESCOP (mesoscopic evaluation of signal control plans). MESCOP is detailed enough to represent the characteristics of actuated traffic signal plans, including the intersection layout and the detectors. The stochastic processes of the arrival at the intersection and the movement within it are also modeled in detail. The model represents passenger cars, transit vehicles, and pedestrians. The use of MESCOP is demonstrated through its application to a signalized intersection in Haifa, Israel. This intersection is controlled by an actuated traffic signal with transit priority and compensation and queue override mechanisms. Computationally, the results show that MESCOP is very efficient in comparison with microscopic models for traffic simulation, which are often used for similar evaluations. Evaluations of the intersection performance indicate a great potential for this model to improve the design of traffic signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A mesoscopic traffic simulation model to evaluate and optimize signal control plans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this