Over a period spanning more than 30 years, several ramp metering algorithms have been developed to improve the operation of freeways. Many of these algorithms were deployed in several regions of the world, and field evaluations have shown their significance to improve traffic conditions on freeways and ramps. Previous reviews of ramp metering algorithms focused more on the research outcomes and evaluations of traditional metering algorithms developed in the early stage of ramp metering research. The purpose of this review is to cover the more recent developments in ramp metering in relation to the traditional metering strategies. Several local and coordinated ramp metering algorithms were reviewed. In summary, Asservissement Linéaire d'Entrée Autoroutière (ALINEA) was found to be the most widely deployed local ramp metering strategy. The algorithm is simple and requires less implementation cost. It also guarantees the targeted performance goals provided that the on-ramp has sufficient storage. Several extensions were proposed in the literature to fine-tune its performance. Among the coordinated metering strategies, zone based metering is simple to implement and easy to re-configure. System-wide adaptive ramp metering (SWARM) algorithm is more sensitive to calibrate for accurate prediction of traffic states. Heuristic ramp-metering coordination (HERO) algorithm can be useful if both local and coordinated control are desired particularly if the local control is using ALINEA. Fuzzy logic based algorithms are gaining popularity because of simplicity and the fast re-configuration capability. Advanced real time metering system (ARMS) seems theoretically a promising algorithm because of its proactive nature to prevent congestion; however, the performance is highly dependent upon accurate predictions. Finally, some guidelines were proposed for future research either to develop new proposals or to extend the existing algorithms for guaranteed performance solutions.
The course was developed to discuss the different types of ramp metering strategies. It will provide the definition and objectives of ramp metering. The history of ramp metering will be discussed. Various ramp metering algorithms and their effectiveness will be presented. Advantages and disadvantages of each algorithm will be included.
The course is divided into two main sections. The first section presents a review of 12 adaptive ramp metering systems developed in the earlier stage and their evaluations. The second section provides a review of the eight recent developments in ramp metering.
This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this course, the student will learn:
• Definition of ramp metering;
• Objectives of ramp metering;
• History of ramp metering;
• Ramp metering algorithms and strategies and their effectiveness; and
• Comparison of ramp metering strategies.