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Adaptive Railway Traffic Control using Approximate Dynamic Programming

Ghasempournejad Seifdokht, Taha; (2019) Adaptive Railway Traffic Control using Approximate Dynamic Programming. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Railway networks around the world have become challenging to operate in recent decades, with a mixture of track layouts running several different classes of trains with varying operational speeds. This complexity has come about as a result of the sustained increase in passenger numbers where in many countries railways are now more popular than ever before as means of commuting to cities. To address operational challenges, governments and railway undertakings are encouraging development of intelligent and digital transport systems to regulate and optimise train operations in real-time to increase capacity and customer satisfaction by improved usage of existing railway infrastructure. Accordingly, this thesis presents an adaptive railway traffic control system for realtime operations based on a data-based approximate dynamic programming (ADP) approach with integrated reinforcement learning (RL). By assessing requirements and opportunities, the controller aims to reduce delays resulting from trains that entered a control area behind schedule by re-scheduling control plans in real-time at critical locations in a timely manner. The present data-based approach depends on an approximation to the value function of dynamic programming after optimisation from a specified state, which is estimated dynamically from operational experience using RL techniques. By using this approximation, ADP avoids extensive explicit evaluation of performance and so reduces the computational burden substantially. In this thesis, formulations of the approximation function and variants of the RL learning techniques used to estimate it are explored. Evaluation of this controller shows considerable improvements in delays by comparison with current industry practices.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Adaptive Railway Traffic Control using Approximate Dynamic Programming
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088212
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