STMARL: A Spatio-Temporal Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning Approach for Cooperative Traffic Light Control

28 Aug 2019  ·  Yanan Wang, Tong Xu, Xin Niu, Chang Tan, Enhong Chen, Hui Xiong ·

The development of intelligent traffic light control systems is essential for smart transportation management. While some efforts have been made to optimize the use of individual traffic lights in an isolated way, related studies have largely ignored the fact that the use of multi-intersection traffic lights is spatially influenced and there is a temporal dependency of historical traffic status for current traffic light control. To that end, in this paper, we propose a novel SpatioTemporal Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (STMARL) framework for effectively capturing the spatio-temporal dependency of multiple related traffic lights and control these traffic lights in a coordinating way. Specifically, we first construct the traffic light adjacency graph based on the spatial structure among traffic lights. Then, historical traffic records will be integrated with current traffic status via Recurrent Neural Network structure. Moreover, based on the temporally-dependent traffic information, we design a Graph Neural Network based model to represent relationships among multiple traffic lights, and the decision for each traffic light will be made in a distributed way by the deep Q-learning method. Finally, the experimental results on both synthetic and real-world data have demonstrated the effectiveness of our STMARL framework, which also provides an insightful understanding of the influence mechanism among multi-intersection traffic lights.

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