Urban traffic congestion propagation and bottleneck identification

  • JianCheng Long
  • ZiYou Gao
  • HuaLing Ren
  • AiPing Lian


Bottlenecks in urban traffic network are sticking points in restricting network collectivity traffic efficiency. To identify network bottlenecks effectively is a foundational work for improving network traffic condition and preventing traffic congestion. In this paper, a congestion propagation model of urban network traffic is proposed based on the cell transmission model (CTM). The proposed model includes a link model, which describes flow propagation on links, and a node model, which represents link-to-link flow propagation. A new method of estimating average journey velocity (AJV) of both link and network is developed to identify network congestion bottlenecks. A numerical example is studied in Sioux Falls urban traffic network. The proposed model is employed in simulating network traffic propagation and congestion bottleneck identification under different traffic demands. The simulation results show that continual increase of traffic demand is an immediate factor in network congestion bottleneck emergence and increase as well as reducing network collectivity capability. Whether a particular link will become a bottleneck is mainly determined by its position in network, its traffic flow (attributed to different OD pairs) component, and network traffic demand.


cell transmission model node model congestion bottleneck average journey velocity 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • JianCheng Long
    • 1
  • ZiYou Gao
    • 1
  • HuaLing Ren
    • 1
  • AiPing Lian
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and SafetyBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina

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