DyETC: Dynamic Electronic Toll Collection for Traffic Congestion Alleviation Conference Paper uri icon


  • To alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas, electronic toll collection (ETC) systems are deployed all over the world. Despite the merits, tolls are usually pre-determined and fixed from day to day, which fail to consider traffic dynamics and thus have limited regulation effect when traffic conditions are abnormal. In this paper, we propose a novel dynamic ETC (DyETC) scheme which adjusts tolls to traffic conditions in realtime. The DyETC problem is formulated as a Markov decision process (MDP), the solution of which is very challenging due to its 1) multi-dimensional state space, 2) multi-dimensional, continuous and bounded action space, and 3) time-dependent state and action values. Due to the complexity of the formulated MDP, existing methods cannot be applied to our problem. Therefore, we develop a novel algorithm, PG-beta, which makes three improvements to traditional policy gradient method by proposing 1) time-dependent value and policy functions, 2) Beta distribution policy function and 3) state abstraction. Experimental results show that, compared with existing ETC schemes, DyETC increases traffic volume by around 8%, and reduces travel time by around 14:6% during rush hour. Considering the total traffic volume in a traffic network, this contributes to a substantial increase to social welfare.

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, H., An, B. o., Sharon, G., Hanna, J., Stone, P., Miao, C., & Soh, Y.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Haipeng||An, Bo||Sharon, Guni||Hanna, Josiah||Stone, Peter||Miao, Chunyan||Soh, Yeng

publication date

  • January 2018