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International Journal of Mathematics and

Computer Applications Research (IJMCAR)


ISSN(P): 2249-6955; ISSN(E): 2249-8060
Vol. 6, Issue 3, Jun 2016, 29-34
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APPLICATION OF GRAPH THEORY IN REPRESENTING AND


MODELLING TRAFFIC CONTROL PROBLEMS
SHAKERA TANVEER
Department of Mathematics Government First Grade College Afzalpur, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India
ABSTRACT
The main objective of this paper is to present the application of graph theory in modelling the real life
problems by representing them in terms of graphs. Many real- world problems can be conveniently represented in terms
of graphs by means of points (vertices) and lines (edges). This article gives the application of connectivity (vertex or
edge) in traffic management problems in an efficient way by minimizing the waiting time of the traffic participants and
the cost to locate the sensors at an appropriate place so as to have the traffic data and this has been shown by two
examples.
KEYWORDS: Graph Theory, Traffic Control Problem, Connectivity (Vertex or Edge), Mathematical Modelling

INTRODUCTION
Now a days Graph theory is playing a vital role in every branch of Science and Technology. Also it is
widely used in almost other fields like Sociology, Biology, biochemistry (genomics), Chemistry (for the study of
molecules, construction of bonds and for the study of atoms), Electrical engineering (communication networks

Original Article

Received: May 02, 2016; Accepted: May 23, 2016; Published: Jun 21, 2016; Paper Id.: IJMCARJUN201603

and coding theory), Computer Science (algorithms and computation) and operations research (scheduling) etc.
The most important concept of graph coloring is used in scheduling problems (final exams at a university or jobs
in a factory) and resource allocations. Also, paths, walks and circuits in graph theory are used in tremendous
applications say traveling salesman problem, concepts on database design, resource networking which leads to the
development of new algorithms and new theorems that can be used in various applications [1 & 5]. The edge
connectivity as well as vertex connectivity is used as graph theoretic tools to study traffic control problem at an
intersection.
Due to huge population and urbanization of small towns and cities, the increase in the number of vehicles
led to the increase in time losses of traffic participants, the increase of environmental and noise pollution leads to
the increasing number of traffic accidents. The major obstacle for the development of many urban areas is the
traffic congestion which is also affecting millions of people. The construction of new roads may improve the
situation, but it is very costly and in many cases it is impossible due to the existing structures. Instead of
constructing the new roads, the other way to control the traffic flow in such a situation is to use the current road
network in an efficient way. A methodology of handling city traffic in a very efficient way by proper traffic
management instead of modifying the road infrastructure was studied by Dave and Jhala [3]. This paper presents
the applications of vertex connectivity and edge connectivity in traffic control problems at an intersection so as to
minimize the waiting time of the traffic participants and the cost of locating the sensors for collecting the traffic

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Shakera Tanveer

data and it has been shown through examples.

COMPATIBILITY GRAPH AND ITS CONNECTIVITY


The vehicles approaching an intersection prepare themselves to perform a certain maneuver i.e. to drive through,
turn left, or turn right at an intersection. The vehicles that perform this maneuver represent a flow component. Such an
arrival flow component is called a traffic stream [6]. To study the traffic control problem at an arbitrary intersection, it has
to be modeled mathematically by using a simple graph for the traffic collection data problem. The set of edges of the
underlying graph will represent the communication link between the set of nodes i.e. traffic streams at an intersection. In
the graph representing the traffic control problem, the traffic streams which can move simultaneously at an intersection
without any conflict will be joined by an edge and the streams which cannot move together will not be connected by an
edge. The graph obtained thus is a connected graph and will be referred as the compatibility graph of the intersection
corresponding to the traffic control problem. In order to define a cut-set and the connectivity of the compatibility graph, the
underlying graph G considered as G = (V, E) where V(G) denotes the set of vertices of G and E(G) denotes the set of edges
of G. A cut-set F is a set of edges whose removal from G leaves G disconnected. Also it results in the increase in the
number of components of G by one. Each cut-set of the compatibility graph G consists of a certain number of edges.
The number of edges in the smallest cut-set i.e. the cut-set with fewest numbers of edges is defined as the edge
connectivity of G. The vertex connectivity of the compatibility graph G is defined as the minimum number of vertices
whose removal from G leaves the remaining graph disconnected. The details on these aspects for the graph G can be found
in [2] and [7].
The traffic sensors can be placed on each edge in a cut-set of G determined by its edge connectivity as well as on
each vertex of G determined by its vertex connectivity. The complete traffic information for the control system can be
obtained by using these sensors and their optimal locations for the traffic sensors which can be found by using edge
connectivity and vertex connectivity of the compatibility graph G.

FIRST EXAMPLE
The example considered is a traffic control problem at a four leg intersection, with four streams and the
corresponding compatibility graph as shown in Figures 1 & 2 below are from [3] and [4].

Figure 1: An Intersection with four Traffic Streams

Figure 2: Graph G (Compatibility Graph of Figure 1)


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Application of Graph Theory in Representing and Modelling Traffic Control Problems

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In the compatibility graph (Figure 2), number of vertices n is 4 and number of edges e is 4. The vertex
connectivity as well as edge connectivity is 2. The edges {b, c} and {a, b} corresponding to the edge connectivity as well
as vertices b and c corresponding to the vertex connectivity whose removal disconnects the compatibility graph.
The disconnected graphs having two components obtained after removing the edges {b, c} and {a, b} as well as vertices b
and c from the compatibility graph are shown below through the Figure 3 and Figure 4 respectively.

Figure 3: Graph obtained after Removal of the Edges {b, c} and {a, b}

Figure 4: Graph Obtained after Removal of the Vertices c and b


From the above discussion it is clear that sensors have to be placed either in the edges {b, c} and {a, b} or in the
vertices b and c, which will provide complete information and can be delivered to the traffic participants, regarding traffic
flow, congestion etc.

SECOND EXAMPLE
Another example considered here is a traffic control problem with seven streams and the corresponding
compatibility graph as shown in Figures 5 & 6 below are from [3, 4] and [8].

Figure 5: An Intersection with Seven Traffic Streams

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Shakera Tanveer

Figure 6: Graph G (Compatibility Graph of Figure 5)


In the compatibility graph (Figure 6), number of vertices n is 7 and number of edges e is 12. The vertex
connectivity as well as edge connectivity is 3. The edges {a, c},{c, d} and{c, g}corresponding to the edge connectivity as
well as vertices c, g and f corresponding to the vertex connectivity whose removal disconnects the compatibility graph.
The disconnected graphs having two components obtained after removing the edges {a, c},{c, d} and{c, g} as well as
vertices d, g and b from the compatibility graph are as shown below in Figure 7 and Figure 8 respectively. Similarly other
pair of vertices and edges can also be found to disconnect the compatibility graph.

Figure 7: Graph obtained after Removal of the Edges {a, c}, {c, d}and {c, g}

Figure 8: Graph obtained after Removal of the Vertices d, g and b

APPLICATIONS
The edge connectivity and vertex connectivity have wide application in traffic control problems at an intersection.
The edges given by the edge connectivity and the vertices given by the vertex connectivity determine the exact locations
where the sensors have to be placed which minimizes the total cost and the complete data of the traffic problem can be
obtained by using either of the two connectivitys [2].

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Application of Graph Theory in Representing and Modelling Traffic Control Problems

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To study the properties of communication and transportation networks, these connectivitys are of great
importance due to its necessity in finding the maximum rate of flow that is possible from one node to another in the
network. There are many other applications in networks such as network representing roads with traffic capacities, or link
in a computer network with data transmission capacities, or currents in an electric network and also some application in
industrial settings etc.

CONCLUSIONS
In this paper few applications of graph theory are shown with examples. In particular the concept of vertex
connectivity and edge connectivity of a graph can have many different real-world applications and are also used as graph
theoretic tools to study traffic control problem at an intersection. The waiting time of the traffic participants can be
minimized by controlling the edges of the edge connectivity and can be achieved by placing traffic sensors on each such
edges of the edge connectivity of the transportation network which will provide complete information of the traffic
network. As an alternative to above, sensors can also be placed on each vertex of the vertex connectivity of the
transportation network for getting complete traffic information of the network. So, it is concluded that Graph Theory is an
incredibly important part of modern-day life.
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Shamim Ahmed, (2012), Applications of Graph Coloring in modern computer science, Int. J. of Comp. Inf. Tech.,3(2) 1-7.

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Arun Kumar Baruah, (2014), Traffic control problems using graph connectivity, Int. J. of Comp. App., 86(11) 1-3.

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Innovative Tech. Vol. 3(12) 2014, 124-126.

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Mohsen Hosseini, S. and Oroogi, H.(2009), Phasing of Traffic Lights at a Road Junction, Appl. Math. Sci., 3(30) 1487-1492

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Deo, N., (2000), Graph Theory with Applications to Engineering and Computer Science, Prentice Hall Inc., New Jersey.

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Balakrishnan, R., Ranganathan, K. (2012), A text book of Graph Theory, Second Edition, Springer, New York.

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