Transportation Center Seminar - Larry Head

A Priority System for Multi-Modal Traffic Signal Control

Thursday – April 5, 2012
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Refreshments available at 3:30 pm

Location: Transportation Center, Chambers Hall - Lower Level, 600 Foster St., Evanston

Larry Head
Associate Professor and Department Head
Systems and Industrial Engineering
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona


There are many users of signalized traffic intersections including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles/trucks, pedestrians, bicycles, transit buses, light rail vehicles, and emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances. Traditional approaches to traffic signal control are centered on general vehicles with either accommodations for other modes or exceptions for special considerations such as emergency vehicles. We have developed a unified framework for multi-modal traffic signal control that simultaneously considers the needs of different modal users. This framework is based on a mathematical optimization model where each mode can request service using priority requests. In addition to modal users, system-operating principles such as coordination are included in the decision framework. The system has been developed and tested using both microscopic traffic simulation and in a live network of six intersections in Anthem, Arizona using emerging technology developments in Connected Vehicle systems. 

Bio:  K. Larry Head, Ph.D. is currently the Department Head and an Associate Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at The University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1989. He has 18 years of research and development experience related to the design and implementation of adaptive traffic signal control (RHODES), transit priority, emergency vehicle priority, and traffic management systems. From 1996 to 2003 he was a Senior Vice President at a business unit of Siemens where he lead the development of advanced traffic management systems including special traffic signal  priority systems for light rail that is used in Salt Lake City, Houston, and Phoenix. He is the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Traffic Signal Systems Committee (AHB25), and a member of INCOSE, INFORMS, IEEE, IIE and ITE.