Overview of the Kadence Real-Time Adaptive Control System

The Kadence (from the English noun cadence meaning balanced, rhythmic flow) adaptive control system was developed as a SBIR in a joint venture with Kimley-Horn & Associates (headquarters in Raleigh, NC with 56 offices nationwide) and Sabra-Wang & Associates (headquarters in Baltimore, MD with several offices in the Baltimore-Washington region). The development and software integration staff was done by the KITS arterial and freeway management systems team. The system optimizes traffic signal timing to balance performance benefits for safety and efficiency. The system is not intended to replace or obviate the need for sound traffic engineering but rather supplement the traffic engineer’s toolbox with another tool that can handle fluctuations in demand and short and long-term changes in land use and traffic patterns.

Kadence is comprised of four principle algorithms for tuning signal splits, offsets, cycle time, and phase sequence. Switching between protected, protected-permitted, and permitted-only left turns (supported by appropriate field infrastructure) is planned for implementation in 2013. A safety performance function is also included that allows the real-time system to predict the changes in traffic conflict rates when adjusting signal timing parameters.

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