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Recurrent and nonrecurrent congestion on freeways may be alleviated if today's "spontaneous" infrastructure utilization is replaced by an orderly, controllable operation via comprehensive application of ramp metering and freeway-to-freeway control, combined with powerful optimal control techniques. This paper first explains why ramp metering can lead to a dramatic amelioration of traffic conditions on freeways. An overview of ramp metering algorithms is provided next, ranging from early fixed-time approaches to traffic-responsive regulators and to modern sophisticated nonlinear optimal control schemes. Finally, a large-scale example demonstrates the high potential of advanced ramp metering approaches.