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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1127. doi: 10.1038/srep01127. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Chaotic Ising-like dynamics in traffic signals.

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1
Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. hideyuki@iis.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

The green and red lights of a traffic signal can be viewed as the up and down states of an Ising spin. Moreover, traffic signals in a city interact with each other, if they are controlled in a decentralised way. In this paper, a simple model of such interacting signals on a finite-size two-dimensional lattice is shown to have Ising-like dynamics that undergoes a ferromagnetic phase transition. Probabilistic behaviour of the model is realised by chaotic billiard dynamics that arises from coupled non-chaotic elements. This purely deterministic model is expected to serve as a starting point for considering statistical mechanics of traffic signals.

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