A framework for an effective traffic congestion management in road networks
Applications are now CLOSED
Road traffic congestion will continue to be a major social and economic problem due to the rapid growth of traffic density. The problem has been extensively investigated over the last few decades and wide range of theories and techniques to address the issue have been suggested in the literature. However, due to some physical space and financial resources’ constraints as well as environmental concerns, the traditional approach that consists of expanding highways’ infrastructures is no longer viable. Currently, the most prominent alternatives to ease traffic conditions on highways rely on an optimal exploitation of the existing highways’ infrastructures via Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs). The effectiveness of an ITS, in improving traffic conditions, in road networks depends highly upon the efficiency of their operational models. One of the corner stone of these models, which plays an essential role in traffic congestion management, includes methods of traffic control. Traffic lights at intersections have been essentially the major tool used to control traffic flow in urban road networks and a wide range of models to optimise a such control have been suggested in the literature e.g. [1, 2]. Recently, congestion pricing strategies [3, 4] have been used as an alternative to tackle traffic congestion in some major cities around the world. Congestion pricing is a mechanism used to shift purely discretionary rush hour highway travel to other transportation modes or to off-peak periods by surcharging users of a road network in periods of peak traffic, via some toll- like road pricing fees, in order to reduce traffic congestion.
The PhD Project
The purpose of this project is first to investigate the effectiveness of congestion pricing
strategies e.g. [3, 4] in easing traffic condition compared to classical traffic control models
e.g. [1, 2]. Then, the insight gained from this investigation will be used to develop an
integrated framework, which combined both classical traffic control with congestion pricing,
for an effective traffic congestion management and control so as to ease traffic conditions in
road networks. The developed framework is expected to be computationally efficient as well
as suitable for real-time applications.
Required Student Background
The current PhD-project requires high-level skills in mathematics, probability and stochastic processes theory as well as computer programming. An experience in programming and a
liking of numerical simulation would be an asset.
 Chiou S-W, A hybrid optimization algorithm for area traffic control problem. Journal of the Operational
Research Society 58: 816-823, 2007.
 Cipriani E and Fusco G, Combined signal setting design and traffic assignment problem. European
Journal of Operational Research 155: 569-583, 2004.
 Dial R, Minimal Revenue Congestion Pricing Part II: an efficient algorithm for the general case. Transportation Research B 34: 645-665, 2000.
 Zhang X and Yang H, The optimal cordon-based network congestion pricing problem. Transportation
Research Part B 38: 517-537, 2004.
The Mathematical Research Centre conducts world-class research in the following areas: Algebra, Analysis, Operator Algebras, Algebraic Topology, Topological Data Analysis, PDEs, Survival Analysis, Bayesian Networks, Data Analytics and Operational Research. It maintains vibrant international links with a large number of researchers around the globe and regularly hosts international conferences and research visitors.
List of researchers, their interests and upcoming PhD projects can be found at:
Mode of study / duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
- The School has many industry links, some of which are with Seagate Technology R&D, Andor Technology and AVX Ltd. Many of our graduates take up positions with these companies in posts such as Statistical Analysis Programmer, Trainee Accountant, Financial Engineer and Business Analyst.
- Graduates from the School take up employment through a number of companies such as Allstate, AquaQ Analytics, Citigroup, Deloitte, PwC, Randox, Seagate and UCAS.
World Class Facilities
- Since 2014, the School has invested over £12 million in new world-class student and staff facilities. Maths and Physics students now have their own teaching centre that opened in 2016 housing experimental physics laboratories, two large computer rooms for mathematical simulations and student study plus a student interaction area.
- Students will have access to our facilities, resources and our dedicated staff. The School of Maths & Physics is one of the largest Schools in the University. Staff are involved in cutting-edge research that spans a multitude of fields.
Information on the research interests and activities of academics in the Mathematical Science Research Centre can be found at https://web.am.qub.ac.uk/wp/msrc/. These interests fit into the themes: Algebra, Analysis, Data Science, Optimization and Operational Research, Partial Differential Equations, Statistics, Topology and Geometry.
Mathematical and statistical skills are in great demand in the economy, particularly the advanced skills developed at the PhD level.
Employment after the Course
As well as continuing in research careers, our PhD graduates have also gone on to work in finance, computing, data analysis, management and teaching. Our advisors will be happy to provide further information on the career prospects arising from your chosen research area. Further information on careers can be obtained from the School and the Faculty.
People teaching you
Dr David Barnes
Postgraduate Advisor - Mathematical Sciences Research Centre
Professor Ivan Todorov
Director of Research - Mathematical Sciences Research Centre
FacilitiesStudents will enjoy the benefits of modern practical laboratories, extensive computer facilities and interactive spaces.
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,407|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£4,407|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,407|
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.
How do I fund my study?1.PhD Opportunities
Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.2.Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's
Queen's has eight outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and most importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.3.PhD loans
The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland students.4.International Scholarships
Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.
Funding and Scholarships
The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.
How to Apply
Find a supervisor
If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.
To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.
You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.