Mechanisms for spatio-temporal pattern formation in highway traffic models

Wilson, R. Eddie (2008) Mechanisms for spatio-temporal pattern formation in highway traffic models. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366, (1872), 2017-2032. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0018).


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A key qualitative requirement for highway traffic models is the ability to replicate a type of traffic jam popularly referred to as a phantom jam, shock wave or stop-and-go wave. Despite over 50 years of modelling, the precise mechanisms for the generation and propagation of stop-and-go waves and the associated spatio-temporal patterns are in dispute. However, the increasing availability of empirical datasets, such as those collected from motorway incident detection and automatic signalling system (MIDAS) inductance loops in the UK or the next-generation simulation trajectory data (NGSIM) project in the USA, means that we can expect to resolve these questions definitively in the next few years. This paper will survey the essence of the competing explanations of highway traffic pattern formation and introduce and analyse a new mechanism, based on dynamical systems theory and bistability, which can help resolve the conflict.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1098/rsta.2008.0018
ISSNs: 1364-503X (print)
1471-2962 (electronic)
Keywords: nonlinear dynamics, highway traffic modelling, stop-and-go waves
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 184243
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
June 2008Published
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 13:03
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:37

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