A Mathematical Model and Descent Algorithm for Bilevel Traffic Management
W e provide a new mathematical model for strategic traffic management, formulated and analyzed as a mathematical program with equilibrium constraints (MPEC). The model includes two types of control (upper-level) variables, which may be used to describe such traffic management actions as traffic signal setting, network design, and congestion pricing. The lower-level problem of the MPEC describes a traffic equilibrium model in the sense of Wardrop, in which the control variables enter as
... s enter as parameters in the travel costs. We consider a (small) variety of model settings, including fixed or elastic demands, the possible presence of side constraints in the traffic equilibrium system, and representations of traffic flows and management actions in both link-route and link-node space. For this model, we also propose and analyze a descent algorithm. The algorithm utilizes a new reformulation of the MPEC into a constrained, locally Lipschitz minimization problem in the product space of controls and traffic flows. The reformulation is based on the Minty (1967) parameterization of the graph of the normal cone operator for the traffic flow polyhedron. Two immediate advantages of making use of this reformulation are that the resulting descent algorithm can be operated and established to be convergent without requiring that the travel cost mapping is monotone, and without having to ever solve the lower-level equilibrium problem. We provide example realizations of the algorithm, establish their convergence, and interpret their workings in terms of the traffic network.