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Comparison of performance between Virtual Controller Interface Device and Controller Interface Device

Comparison of performance between Virtual Controller Interface Device and Controller Interface Device

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A Controller Interface Device (CID) is a hardware that connects a signal controller to simulation software. Running traffic simulation with an actual controller is called hardware-in-the-loop simulation (HILS) and is an important tool for simulating the operations of traffic signals. In practice, it has been found that the existing traditional CIDs have some limitations, particularly when simulating multiple signals. In this regard, a Virtual CID (VCID) is proposed in this study. VCID can connect traffic signal controllers to a micro-simulation software through the National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP). A case study is conducted that uses the same traffic networks to compare the performance of VCID to CID. Queue length, travel time and simulation stability are considered in the evaluation. Results show that VCID could provide accurate and reliable simulation results. In comparison to traditional CIDs, VCID has more advantages as it does not depend on any hardware device and is easy to operate. In addition, since the communications are transformed through Ethernet, thus providing a convenient learning and testing environment for those who do not own a physical signal control laboratory. Therefore, VCID will have a broader prospect for development than CID.

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