Multiagent Reinforcement Learning-Based Signal Planning for Resisting Congestion Attack in Green Transportation

Yike Li, Wenjia Niu, Yunzhe Tian, Tong Chen, Zhiqiang Xie, Yalun Wu, Yingxiao Xiang, Endong Tong, Thar Baker, Jiqiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inefficient signal control will not only exaggerate traffic congestion, but also increase the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Thus, signal planning is highly important in green transportation. As the Connected vehicle (CV) technology has transformed today’s transportation systems by connecting vehicles and the transportation infrastructure through wireless communication, the CV-based signal control system has seen significant studies recently. Unfortunately, existing signal planning algorithms in use are developed for the signal-intersection, showing low traffic efficiency in the multi-intersection collaborative planning due to ignoring the traffic correlation among the neighboring intersections. In this work, we target the USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) sponsored CV-based traffic control system, and implement a multi-intersection traffic network. We model the multi-intersection collaborative signal planning problem as a multi-agent reinforcement learning problem, and present an actor-attention-critic algorithm to improve transportation efficiency and energy efficiency in green transportation, as well as resist congestion attack. Experiment results on the multi-intersection traffic network indicates that 1) compared to the baseline, our approach reduces the total delay by as high as 44.24%; 2) our method transports more vehicles passing the intersections meanwhile reduces the total CO 2 emissions by 2.40%; 3) under the congestion attack, our approach shows robustness and reduces the total delay by as high as 64.33%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448 - 1458
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2022


  • CV-based system
  • Green transportation
  • Multi-agent reinforcement learning
  • Traffic signal control


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