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Locating active sensors on traffic networks. (English) Zbl 1114.90067
Summary: Sensors are used to monitor traffic in networks. For example, in transportation networks, they may be used to measure traffic volumes on given arcs and paths of the network. This paper refers to an active sensor when it reads identifications of vehicles, including their routes in the network, that the vehicles actively provide when they use the network. On the other hand, the conventional inductance loop detectors are passive sensors that mostly count vehicles at points in a network to obtain traffic volumes (e.g., vehicles per hour) on a lane or road of the network.
This paper introduces a new set of network location problems that determine where to locate active sensors in order to monitor or manage particular classes of identified traffic streams. In particular, it focuses on the development of two generic locational decision models for active sensors, which seek to answer these questions: (1) ”How many and where should such sensors be located to obtain sufficient information on flow volumes on specified paths?”, and (2) ”Given that the traffic management planners have already located count detectors on some network arcs, how many and where should active sensors be located to get the maximum information on flow volumes on specified paths?”
The problem is formulated and analyzed for three different scenarios depending on whether there are already count detectors on arcs and if so, whether all the arcs or a fraction of them have them. Location of an active sensor results in a set of linear equations in path flow variables, whose solution provide the path flows. The general problem, which is related to the set-covering problem, is shown to be NP-Hard, but special cases are devised, where an arc may carry only two routes, that are shown to be polynomially solvable. New graph theoretic models and theorems are obtained for the latter cases, including the introduction of the generalized edge-covering by nodes problem on the path intersection graph for these special cases. An exact algorithm for the special cases and an approximate one for the general case are presented.

MSC:
90B90 Case-oriented studies in operations research
90B80 Discrete location and assignment
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