Developing a Priority-Based Decision Making Method to Evaluate Geometric Configuration of Urban Interchanges

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

2 MSc Student, Department of Industrial Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 MSc Graduate, Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, K. N.Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


The present article involves in evaluation and engineering judgment of various geometric configurations for highway interchanges by considering substantial parameters over the discretion process. The geometric, economical and architectural criteria as the fundamental indicators are divided into related sub-indicators and the total combinations of such sub-elements from the general criterion for establishment of decision making process. Hence, this article deals with geometric configuration analysis of interchanges as a complex decision problem by the use of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) which is a structured technique to analyze complicated engineering systems. By considering an interchange as a case study in north of Tehran, the capital of Iran, the performance of the proposed method has been examined in order to  select the most suitable type of interchange by forming the evaluation process of AHP and taking into account the given design and construction data. In order to find a reasonable decision making approach for the optimum geometric configuration of highway interchange before construction stage, an interactive methodology has been reported in this study to facilitate the decision process, once a wide range of notorious criteria and desired prerequisites are available. Owing to established the AHP model and perform the decision-making method, the Expert Choice analytical software has been utilized. Only four options are considered for geometric shape of the interchange in the case study and the functionality of the process examined by reporting the general quantities for any option. The evaluation results are determined in terms of priorities for various options and their decision weights in the case study. However the presented model is able to be applied for other cases and different alternatives. As a tentative finding, using directional pattern for the case example of current work has been the optimum variant rather than parallel alternatives i.e. semi-directional and loop schemes.


- AASHTO 2011 Code (2011) "A policy on geometric design of highway and streets", 6th. Edition, AASHTO
- Cribbins, P. D, Hill, W. T. and Seagraves, H.O. (1995)  "Economical impact of selected sections of interstate routes on land value and use", Highway Research Record, NO.75, pp 1-31.
- Expert Choice Inc. (2004) "Expert choice software", Pittsburgh: Export Choice Inc.
- Fang, F. and Elefteriadou, L. (2005) "Some guidelines for selecting micro-simulation models for interchange traffic operational analysis", J. Transp. Eng., 131(7), pp.535–543.
- Fletcher, K (2008), "Interchange comparison matrices, comparison between all possible alternatives for two level interchanges", general study prepared by JFK group, Maryland Transportation Authority.
- Hadiyan, M. (2008) "Development of the methodology for evaluation of various interchanges (loops and directionals)  ", M.Sc. Thesis, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
- Hexa Consulting Engineers Company (2010) "Geometric design specifications for Tehran Interchanges, ImamAli Highway Interchange",
- Iran Ministry of Road and Urbanization (2001)  "Urban highway design manual, interchanges", First edition.
- Iran President’s Deputy of Programming and Supervision (2012) "Iranian Highway Design Leaflet No.415, Highway geometric design manual",
- Leisch J.P., (2007), "Comparison of worldwide practice in interchange design", Research Paper in Transportation System Planning, Proceedings of TRB International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, Chicago, North America.
- Lin,Y., Zhang,  F. F. and Fang, S. (2008) "Comprehensive evaluation method for interchange design scheme based on projection pursuit", Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development. No. 5
- Loulizi, A., Rakha, H., Park, S. and Chabbouh, M. (2011) "Methodology to evaluate urban interchanges in developing countries", Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2011, Paper #11-1068.
- Monajjem, S., Razi, M. and Naeimi, M. (2011) “Comparison and evaluation of left-turns configuration in highway intersections with AHP method, Case study: ImamAli- Zeinoddin two level Crossing”, Transportation Research Journal, Volume 8, Number 3, Autumn, pp. 259-275.
- Mulinazzi, T. E. and Satterly, G.T. (1973) "An evaluation methodology for the selection of an interchange configuration", Technical Paper, Publication FHWA/IN/JHRP-73/29, Joint Highway Research Project, Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
 - Nicholas, J. G., Michael, D. and Fontaine E. (1999) "Guidelines for preliminary selection of the optimum interchange type for a specific location", Final report of the research program VTRC 99-R15, Virginia Transportation Research Council, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
- Praveen, K., Edara B.J.G. and Ramanujan, J. (2008) "Diverging diamond interchange and double crossover intersection", vehicle and pedestrian performance", 17th Proceedings of TRB International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, Chicago.
- Razi, M. (2010)  "Comparison of feasibility of using various types of left-turns (clover leaf or non-clover leaf types) in the highway interchanges",  M.Sc. Dissertation, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
- Saaty, T. L. (2011) "Fundamentals of decision making and priority theory with the analytic hierarchy process", Vol. 6, "analytic hierarchy process series", University of Pittsburgh.
- Saaty, T. L. (2012) "Decision making for leaders, the analytic hierarchy process for decisions in a complex world", Vol. 2, "Analytic Hierarchy Process Series", University of Pittsburgh.
- Shahi, J. and Akhbari, K. (2009) "Investigation of the capability of simulating software to evaluate different scenarios for grade separated crossings", Engineering Traffic Journal, 11th edition, NO.41, Tehran Organization for Transport and Traffic.
- Shakeri, M. (2009) "Economical and technical evaluation of various types of grade separated crossings in highways with respect to construction necessity", M.Sc. Thesis, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
- Songa, H. and  Yangb, X. (2012) "Comparison of operation performance of diamond interchanges between China and U.S.A", Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 43, 2012, pp.125–134.
- Stanek, D. (2009) "Innovative diamond interchange designs: How to increase capacity and minimize cost", Institute of Transportation Engineers, District 6 Annual Meeting.
- Stout , T. (2008) "Interchange selection and comparison, identify types of interchange by function and geometry and learn process for optimizing the type of interchange for a specific site", General study published by Iowa State University, Institute for Transportation.
- Sun, J. S. (2007) "Research on the planning and layout of Chongqing belt freeway interchange", Journal of Chongqing Jiaotong University, NO.02.
- Tehran Municipality Comprehensive Traffic Studies Company (2008) "Traffic volume data for Tehran highways",
- Wu,  B., Zhang S., Zhou J. and  Zhang Y. (2009) "Application of nonlinear mapping analysis to type classification of interchange projects", Highway Engineering , NO.05.
- Yang, L., Gao, H. and Wang,  L. (2002) "Fuzzy synthetic evaluation of highway interchange plans", Journal of Northeast Forestry University, No.01.
- Zhao, F. K ,Song, J. H.  and  Li, X. H. (2006)  "Study on interchange type selection at expressway network planning stage", Journal of Highway and Transportation Research and Development, No.10.