Traffic flow in a spatial network model
A quantity of practical importance in the design of an infrastructure network is the amount of traffic along different parts in the network. Traffic patterns primarily depend on the users’ preference for short paths through the network and spatial constraints for building the necessary connections. Here we study the traffic distribution in a spatial network model which takes both of these considerations into account. Assuming users always travel along the shortest path available, the appropriate measure for traffic flow along the links is a generalization of the usual concept of “edge betweenness”. We find that for networks with a minimal total maintenance cost, a small number of connections must handle a disproportionate amount of traffic. However, if users can travel more directly between different points in the network, the maximum traffic can be greatly reduced.
KeywordsShort Path Traffic Flow Physical Review Minimum Span Tree User Cost
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