Optimal Freeway Ramp Control without Origin-Destination Information

Transportation Research, Part B, Vol. 38, No. 10, pp. 869-887, December 2004

31 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2008

See all articles by Lei Zhang

Lei Zhang

Oregon State University

David Matthew Levinson

affiliation not provided to SSRN


This paper develops an analytical framework for ramp metering, under which various ramp control strategies can be viewed as ramifications of the same most-efficient control logic with different threshold values, control methods, and equity considerations. The most-efficient control logic only meters the entrance ramps nearest critical freeway mainline sections so as to eliminate freeway internal queues, which is derived from a new formulation of the optimal ramp control problem. Instead of assuming the availability of real-time origin-destination information, the new formulation takes advantages of the stability and predictability of off-ramp exit percentages. Those properties of the off-ramp exit percentages are supported by empirical data, and allow us to formulate the optimal ramp control problem as a linear program whose input variables are all directly measurable by detectors in real-time. The solution is also tested on a real-world freeway section in a microscopic traffic simulator for demonstration. Time-dependent origin/destination tables and off-ramp exit percentages are compared as two alternative ways to represent the true real-time demand patterns that are important to freeway ramp metering.

Keywords: Ramp metering, Freeway operations, OD table, Off-ramp exit percentage Transportation

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Lei and Levinson, David Matthew, Optimal Freeway Ramp Control without Origin-Destination Information. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1089115

Lei Zhang (Contact Author)

Oregon State University ( email )

Bexell Hall 200
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

David Matthew Levinson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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