The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 321–327 | Cite as

Network breakdown “at the edge of chaos” in multi-agent traffic simulations

  • M. Rieser
  • K. Nagel
Topical issue dedicated to ECCS2007 - Dresden


Traffic is highly influenced by network structure and human behaviour. Small changes in the human behaviour can lead to huge changes in the load of a traffic network. Current transportation models do not, and most of them cannot, research such random behaviour but always calculate a steady state. In our multi-agent transport simulation, we frequently observe seemingly random “network breakdowns”, huge traffic jams that spread over a big part of the network, making a normal traffic flow impossible. This paper describes the investigations that were performed on the results of our large-scale multi-agent transport simulations in an attempt to contribute to the better understanding of the dynamic processes in such simulations and, hopefully, better understanding and modelling of the real-world.


45.70.Vn Granular models of complex systems; traffic flow 89.40.Bb Land transportation 89.75.-k Complex systems 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Rieser
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. Nagel
    • 1
  1. 1.Transport Systems Planning and Transport Telematics (VSP), TU Berlin, Salzufer 17-19, Sekr. SG 12BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT)ZurichSwitzerland

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