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Still flowing: old and new approaches for traffic flow modeling

Nagel, K. and Wagner, P. and Woesler, R. (2003) Still flowing: old and new approaches for traffic flow modeling. Operations Research, 51 (5), pp. 681-710.

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Abstract

Certain aspects of traffic flow measurements imply the existence of a phase transition. Models known from chaos and fractals, such as non-linear analysis of coupled differential equations, cellular automata, or coupled maps, can generate behavior which indeed resembles a phase transition in the flow behavior. Other measurements point out that the same behavior could be generated by relatively simple geometrical constraints of the scenario. This paper looks at some of the empirical evidence, but mostly focuses on the different modelling approaches. The theory of traffic jam dynamics is reviewed in some detail, starting from the well-established theory of kinematic waves and then veering into the area of phase transitions. One aspect of the theory of phase transitions is that, by changing one single parameter, a system can be moved from displaying a phase transition to not displaying a phase transition. This implies that models for traffic can be tuned so that they display a phase transition or not. The paper focuses on microscopic modeling, discussing the approaches mentioned above, i.e. coupled differential equations, cellular automata, and coupled maps. The phase transition behavior of these models, as far as it is known, is discussed. Similarly, fluid-dynamical models for the same questions are considered. A large portion of the paper is given to the discussion of extensions and open questions, which makes clear that the question of traffic jam dynamics is, albeit important, only a small part of an interesting and vibrant field. As our outlook shows, the whole field is moving away from a rather static view of traffic towards a dynamic view, which uses simulation as an important tool.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2004,
Title:Still flowing: old and new approaches for traffic flow modeling
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Nagel, K.UNSPECIFIED
Wagner, P.UNSPECIFIED
Woesler, R.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2003
Journal or Publication Title:Operations Research
Refereed publication:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:51
Page Range:pp. 681-710
Status:Published
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VR - Verkehrsforschung
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Transport Research
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:16 Sep 2005
Last Modified:06 Jan 2010 20:29

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