Traffic Flow Breakdown and Traffic-State Recognition

  • Martin Treiber
  • Arne Kesting


Flow and aggregated speed data from stationary detectors and trajectories of floating cars allow us to investigate many aspects of traffic breakdown and jam propagation. In the first two sections, we discuss the three main factors of traffic breakdowns: High traffic flow, bottlenecks, and a disturbances in the traffic flow itself. In the next two sections, we summarize the stylized facts of the spatiotemporal evolution of congested traffic patterns, i.e., typical empirical findings that are repeatedly observed on various highways all over the world. In the last section, we apply this knowledge to real-time traffic-state estimation and short-term prediction. While the traffic breakdown as such is a stochastic process and therefore, in principle, only predictable in terms of probabilities, the stylized facts allow a quasi-deterministic forecast of the evolution of already congested traffic. The focus is on highways and major roadways but the contents of this chapter is also applicable to other types of roads.


Traffic Flow Stylize Fact Congested Traffic Road Section Traffic Flow Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Wirtschaft und VerkehrTU DresdenDresdenGermany
  2. 2.TomTom Development Germany GmbHBerlinGermany

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