Networks and Spatial Economics

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 349–370 | Cite as

The Dynamics and Equilibria of Day-to-Day Assignment Models

  • David Watling
  • Martin L. Hazelton


Traffic network modelling is a field that has developed over a number of decades, largely from the economics of predicting equilibria across route travel choices, in consideration of the congestion levels on those routes. More recently, there has been a growing influence from the psychological and social science fields, leading to a greater interest in understanding behavioural mechanisms that underlie such travel choice decisions. The purpose of the present paper is to describe mathematical models which aim to reflect day-to-day dynamic adjustments in route choice behaviour in response to previous travel experiences. Particularly, the aim is to set these approaches in a common framework with the conventional economic equilibrium models. Starting from the analysis of economic equilibria under perturbations, the presentation moves onto deterministic dynamical system models and stochastic processes. Simple illustrative examples are used to introduce the modelling approaches. It is argued that while such dynamical approaches have appeal, in terms of the range of adaptive behavioural processes that can be incorporated, their estimation may not be trivial. In particular, the obvious solution technique (namely, explicit simulation of the dynamics) can lead to a rather complex problem of interpretation for the model-user, and that more “analytical” approximation techniques may be a better way forward.

Convergence day-to-day dynamics dynamical system Markov chain stability stochastic process 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Watling
    • 1
  • Martin L. Hazelton
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Transport StudiesUniversity of LeedsUK
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics & StatisticsUniversity of Western AustraliaAustralia

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