Dynamic Driving and Routing Games for Autonomous Vehicles on Networks: A Mean Field Game Approach

Dynamic Driving and Routing Games for Autonomous Vehicles on Networks: A Mean Field Game Approach


April 9, 2021, 10:40 a.m. ET

Xuan (Sharon) Di
Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Smart Cities Center, Data Science Institute
Columbia University in the City of New York

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As this era’s biggest game-changer, autonomous vehicles (AV) are expected to exhibit new driving and travel behaviors, thanks to their sensing, communication, and computational capabilities. However, a majority of studies assume AVs are essentially human drivers but react faster, “see” farther, and “know” the road environment better. We believe AVs’ most disruptive characteristic lies in its intelligent goal-seeking and adapting behavior. Building on this understanding, we propose a dynamic game-based control leveraging the notion of mean-field games (MFG). Prof. Di will first introduce how MFG can be applied to the decision-making process of a large number of AVs. To illustrate the potential advantage that AVs may bring to stabilize traffic, she will then introduce a multi-class game where AVs are modeled as intelligent game-players and HVs are modeled using a classical non-equilibrium traffic flow model. Last but not the least, she will talk about how the MFG-based control is generalized to road networks, in which the optimal controls of both velocity and route choice need to be solved for AVs, by resorting to nonlinear complementarity problems.

Bio: Xuan (Sharon) Di is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University in the City of New York since September 2016 and serves on a committee for the Smart Cities Center in the Data Science Institute. Prior to joining Columbia, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). She received her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2014.

Dr. Di received a number of awards including the NSF CAREER, Transportation Data Analytics Contest Winner from Transportation Research Board (TRB), the Dafermos Best Paper Award Honorable Mention from the TRB Network Modeling Committee, Outstanding Presentation Award from INFORMS, and the Best Paper Award and Best Graduate Student Scholarship from North-Central Section Institute of Transportation. She also serves as the reviewer for a number of journals, including Transportation Science, Transportation Research Part B/C/D, European Journal of Operational Research, Networks and Spatial Economics, IEEE ITS, and Transportation. Dr. Di directs the DitecT (Data and innovative technology-driven Transportation) Lab @ Columbia University. Her research lies at the intersection of game theory, dynamic control, and machine learning. She is specialized in emerging transportation systems optimization and control, shared mobility modeling, and data-driven urban mobility analysis.

Details about DitecT Lab and Prof. Sharon Di’s research can be found in the following link: https://sharondi-columbia.wixsite.com/ditectlab.