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Danjue Chen

Assistant Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering


Featured Projects

Research and Background

Dr. Chen's research interests include: (1) modeling and control of connected and automated vehicles, (2) traffic flow theory & simulation, (3) truck freight, and (4) traffic-environment interaction. Her research aims to (1) better understand the fundamental nature of traffic flow, particularly with cutting-edge vehicle technologies such as connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles, (2) understand the interconnection among transportation, energy, and environment emission, and (3) develop simple but innovative control strategies to promote smart and eco transportation. One example of her recent work, “Towards Vehicle Automation: Roadway Capacity Formulation for Traffic Mixed with Regular and Automated Vehicles”, studied the dynamic roadway capacity when the traffic stream has both conventional vehicles and automated vehicles. Specifically, the study provides formulations of traffic operational capacity in mixed traffic. The capacity formulations take into account (1) AV penetration rate, (2) micro/mesoscopic characteristics of regular and automated vehicles (e.g., platoon size, spacing characteristics), and (3) different lane policies to accommodate AVs such as exclusive AV and/or RV lanes and mixed-use lanes. A general formulation is developed to determine the valid domains of different lane policies and more generally, AV distributions across lanes with respect to demand, as well as optimal solutions to accommodate AVs. Another recent study utilized connected vehicles (CV) to develop innovative traffic control to improve highway flow and reduce system delay (“Variable Speed Limit Control at Fixed Freeway Bottlenecks Using Connected Vehicles”). Specifically, CV technology is applied to develop VSL strategies to improve bottleneck discharge rates and reduce system delays. Three VSL control strategies are developed with different levels of complexity and capabilities to enhance traffic stability using: (i) only one CV (per lane) (Strategy 1), (ii) one CV (per lane) coupled with variable message signs (Strategy 2), and (iii) multiple CVs (Strategy 3). We further develop adaptive schemes for the three strategies to remedy potential control failures in real time. These strategies are designed to accommodate different queue detection schemes (by CVs or different sensors) and CV penetration rates. Finally, probability of control failure is formulated for each strategy based on the stochastic features of traffic instability to develop a general framework to (i) estimate expected delay savings, (ii) assess the stability of different VSL control strategies, and (iii) determine optimal control speeds under uncertainty.

Contact Info

Danjue Chen
danjue_chen@uml.edu
Francis College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, PA108, Southwick 250G, 1 University Ave.
Lowell, Massachusetts 01854

Research

Modeling & Control of Connected and Automated Vehicles 2012-present
(Sponsors: National Science Foundation, USDOT via Transportation Research Center)
Collaborators: Drs. Soyoung Ahn (UW-Madison), David Noyce (UW-Madison) Modeling traffic dynamics of mixed traffic (manual, cruise-control, connected and automated vehicles).
Developing theory-grounded control for systems with low and varying connectivity and automation.
Developing hybrid machine learning-analytical method for CAV modeling.
Developed adaptive connected vehicle-enabled Variable Speed Limit (VSL) control system to improve highway operation efficiency and stability.

Traffic Flow Theory 2007 - present
(Sponsor: National Science Foundation)
Collaborators: Drs. Jorge Laval (GaTech), Soyoung Ahn (UW-Madison), Zuduo Zheng (QUT)
Modeled the formation and propagation mechanism of freeway oscillations (stop-and-go). Studied the mechanism of periodicity of traffic oscillations.
Quantified the capacity-drop effect induced by variable driver characteristics.
Modeling effects of heavy vehicles on traffic breakdown, instability, and greenhouse gas emission.

Traffic Control and Management 2012-present
(Sponsors: Federal Highway Administration, California Department of Transportation, CFIRE National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education)
Collaborators: Drs. Steven Shladover (PATH), Xiao-Yun Lu (PATH), Soyoung Ahn (UW-Madison), Andreas Hegyi (TUDelft)
Analyzed driver response and traffic evolution under Variable Speed Limit (VSL) control. Identified the success and failure mechanisms of VSL control.
Developed VSL schemes to increase bottleneck discharge flow. Quantified system delay saving.
Designed VSL strategies to harmonize speed transition at freeway incident bottlenecks.

Connected Vehicles & Autonomous Vehicles 2012- present
(Sponsors: Federal Highway Administration, CFIRE National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education)
Collaborators: Drs. Soyoung Ahn (UW-Madison), Steve Shladover (PATH)
Studying potentials of connected/autonomous vehicles to assist heavy vehicles and improve mobility.
Incorporating connected vehicles to VSL control to reduce travel delay and greenhouse gas emission.
Analyzing and modeling instability of cooperative adaptive cruise control vehicles.

Network Analysis 2008 - 2010
(Sponsors: Georgia Institute of Technology)
Collaborator: Dr. Jorge Laval (GaTech)
Derived analytical & graphical solutions to the dynamic user optimum network routing problems.

Air Pollution 2005-2007
(Undergraduate thesis, worked in State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Beijing, China) Supervisor: Dr. Min Hu (Peking University)
Collected samples of air pollutants in southeastern China.
Identified emission sources of pollutants and established the transmission paths.

Education

Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012. B.S., Environmental Science, Applied Mathematics (secondary major), Peking University, China, 2007.

Publications

1.Chen, D., Ahn, S., Chitturi, M., Noyce, D., 2017. “Towards vehicle automation: roadway capacity formulation for traffic mixed with regular and automated vehicles”. Transportation Research Part B, 100, 196-221.

2.Chen, D., Ahn, S., Chitturi, M., Noyce, D.,2017. “Truck platooning on uphill grades under coordinated adaptive cruise control (CACC)”. (Proceeding of the 22nd International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory, Chicago, IL. Also forthcoming in Transportation Research Part C.).

3.Han, Y., Chen, D., Ahn, S., 2017. “Variable speed limit control at fixed freeway bottlenecks using connected vehicles.” Transportation Research Part B, 98, 113-134.

4.Chen, D., Ahn, S., Bang, S., Noyce, D., 2016. “Car-following and lane-changing behavior involving heavy vehicles.” (2016 Transportation Research Board Cunard Award). Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board, Volume 2561.

5. Chen, D., Ahn, S., Bang, S., Noyce, D., 2016. “Car-following and lane-changing behavior involving heavy vehicles.” (2016 Transportation Research Board Cunard Award). Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board, Volume 2561.

6. Han, Y., Chen, D., Ahn, S, 2015. “Analysis of driver response and traffic evolution under variable speed limit control.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board, Volume 2490.

7. Chen, D., Ahn, S., 2015. “Variable speed limit control for non-recurrent severe freeway bottlenecks.” Transportation Research Part C, 51, 210-230.

8. Chen, D., Ahn, S., Hegyi, A., 2014. “Variable speed limit control for steady and oscillatory queues at fixed freeway bottlenecks.” Transportation Research Part B, 70(2014), 340-358.

9. Chen, D., Ahn, S., Laval, J. A., Zheng, Z., 2014. “On the periodicity of traffic oscillations and capacity drop: the role of driver characteristics.” Transportation Research Part B, 59 (1), 117-136.

10. Zheng, Z, Ahn, S., Chen, D., Laval, J. A., 2013. “The effects of lane-changing on the immediate follower: anticipation, relaxation, and change in driver characteristics.” Transportation Research Part C, 26, 367-379.

11. Chen, D., Laval, J. A., Ahn, S., Zheng, Z., 2012. “Traffic hysteresis: a driver behavioral perspective.” Transportation Research Part B, 46 (10), 1440-1453.

12. Chen, D., Laval, J. A., Zheng, Z., Ahn, S., 2012. “Traffic oscillations: A behavioral car-following model.” Transportation Research Part B, 46 (6), 744-761.

13. Zheng, Z., Ahn, S., Chen, D., Laval, J. A., 2011. “Freeway traffic oscillations: microscopic analysis of formations and propagations using wavelet transform.” Transportation Research Part B, 45(9), 1378-1388. (Also in the proceedings of the 19th International Symposium of Transportation and Traffic Theory, acceptance rate < 15%.)

14. Zheng, Z., Ahn, S., Chen, D., Laval, J. A., 2010. “Application of wavelet transform for analysis of freeway traffic: bottlenecks, transient traffic, and traffic oscillations.” Transportation Research Part B, 45 (2), 372-384.

15. Laval, J. A, Chen, D., Guin, A., Benamer, K., Ahn, S., 2009. “Evolution of oscillations in congested traffic: improved estimated method and additional empirical evidence.” Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board, Volume 2124.

Invited Book chapter:

1. Calvert, S., Mahmassani, H., Meier, J. N., Varaiya, P., Hamdar, S., Chen, D., Li, X., Talebpour, A., Mattingly, S. P., 2018. Chapter “Traffic Flow of Connected and Automated Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities” in “Road Vehicle Automation 4”, Springer.

2. Arem, B., Abbas, M., Li, X., Head, L., Zhou, X., Chen, D*., Bertini, R., Mattingly, S., Wang, H., Orosz, G., 2016. Chapter “Integrated Traffic Flow Models and Analysis for Automated Vehicles” in “Road Vehicle Automation 3”, Springer.

Reports

1. Lu, X., Chen, D., Shladover, S., 2014. “Preparations for Field Testing of Combined Variable Speed Advisory (VSA) and Coordinated Ramp Metering (CRM) for Freeway Traffic Control.” Technical Report UCB-ITS-PRR-2014-1, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

2. Chen, D., Ahn, S., Bang, S., Noyce, D., 2016. “Effects of Heavy Vehicles on Dynamic Traffic Features,” Project Number 09-08, National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education.

Conference papers

1. Lu, X., Lee, J., Chen, D., Bared, J., Dailey, D., Shladover, S, 2014. “Freeway Micro-simulation calibration: case study using Aimsun and Vissim with detailed field data.” The 93rd Annual Meeting of Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C.

2. Chilukuri, B. R., Laval, J. A., Chen, D., 2013. “Some traffic features during on-ramp queue flush.” The 92nd Annual Meeting of Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C. (Note: the paper presented in 2013 was significantly revised and enriched after the version presented at the Innovations in Traffic Flow Theory, and Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Symposium, Florida, 2012.)

3. Chen, D., Laval, J. A., 2012. “Effects of Queue Spillback in User Optimum Dynamic Traffic Assignment Problem: Analytical and Graphical Solutions on Simple Network.” The 91st Annual Meeting of Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C.

Curriculum Vitae

Full Curriculum Vitae