Antipersistent Fluctuations of Motorway Traffic Flow Cause Broadly Distributed Congestion Durations

Many motorways are running above their capacity and therefore suffer congested traffic. The traffic breakdown from free flow becomes increasingly likely around a critical flow, a critical number of vehicles per minute. Here we discuss congestion durations which are distributed with a power law over two decades, from minutes to hours [1] (see Figure 1 on the left). This finding suggests a robust mechanism behind it. Using antipersistent stochastic modeling of the traffic flow, we are able to explain the distribution of congestion durations: The traffic flow shows large fluctuations on short time scales which quickly trend back to the mean value (see Figure 1 on the right). Consequently, the traffic flow exceeds the critical flow for time spans which are power law distributed.

Authors: 
Sebastian M. Krause, Lars Habel, Thomas Guhr and Michael Schreckenberg
Room: 
4
Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 17:15 to 17:30

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