MARCH 28 2012 02:25h
Algorithm may unsnarl Beijing traffic
Nan Ji of the Hebei United University and colleagues, writing in the International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications, said their computer algorithm models traffic flow and figures out the largest traffic capacity through roundabouts in the city.
The roundabout was first promoted as a way to smooth traffic flow at the beginning of the 20th century, although researchers acknowledge there were many orders of magnitude fewer vehicles on the roads then.
Still, they say, roundabouts with traffic signals that can further control and prioritize traffic may offer a better option to conventional "crossroads" type intersections between roads.
The researchers studied the effects of using traffic signals in different modes or having such traffic controls disabled altogether, and also looked at diversionary tactics to allow traffic to be channeled away from a particular roundabout at heavily congested times.
In testing their algorithm on a simulated roundabout in Beijing, the researchers said they found they could reduce delays to just 11 seconds at the roundabouts' entry point, with judicious timing of traffic signals.
BEIJING, March 27 (UPI) -- Chinese researchers say they've developed a computer algorithm to reduce traffic congestion that creates unsustainable pollution and draconian rules in Beijing.