Multi-Scale Traffic flow Theory and Application


Advances in tools to forecast traffic states and methods to assess and compare the impact of new infrastructure and control systems, hinge upon accurate modeling of traffic phenomena. These phenomena occur at spatial and temporal scales that range from vehicle size and seconds (e.g. lane changing behavior) to kilometers and hours (e.g. congestion spread over a network). Available traffic models have largely been designed to model events that take place over specific spatial scale. These models are not always applicable to reproduce phenomena over larger or smaller scales.  Multi-scale modeling is a modeling style that integrates different modeling paradigms in a unified framework, so that all traffic phenomena that are occurring at various scales can be simulated with sufficient accuracy.

Scientific challenges

Multi-scale model is able to provide the descriptive and explanatory power needed to reproduce any traffic phenomena at the desired spatial and temporal scale. A key requirement of a multi-scale framework relates to the interface between models of different scales. This interface should ensure (a) consistency in terms of conservation of vehicles and (b) consistency in terms of vehicle/traveler properties that need to be transported over this interface such as vehicle-type, vehicle occupancy, destination, etc.

Societal relevance

Multi-scale traffic flow modelling, in which traffic models of different scales (in terms of network and traffic representation) are combined, offers many opportunities for the simulation and evaluation of traffic measures and policies in large networks. For example, macroscopic continuum traffic flow models could be used to simulate the propagation of traffic on larger freeway corridors and networks efficiently and parsimoniously, whereas microscopic traffic flow models could be employed to simulate those parts of the network (e.g. intersections, toll plazas), where more detail (e.g. modelling of lateral behaviour) is required.

Mahtab Joueiai

Start/end date: 14/02/2011- unknown
Daily supervisor: Hans van Lint
Promotor: Serge Hoogendoorn, Hans van Lint