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Modeling Approaches to Traffic Breakdown

  • Boris S. KernerEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science Series book series (ECSSS)

Glossary

Bottleneck

Traffic breakdown occurs mostly at road bottlenecks. Just as defects and impurities are important for phase transitions in complex spatially distributed systems of various nature, so are bottlenecks in vehicular traffic. A road bottleneck can be a result of roadworks, on- and off-ramps, a decrease in the number of freeway lanes, road curves and road gradients, traffic signal, etc.

Congested Traffic

Congested traffic is defined as a state of traffic in which the average speed is lower than the minimum average speed that is possible in free flow.

F → S transition

In all known observations, traffic breakdown at a highway bottleneck is a phase transition from the free flow phase to synchronized flow phase (F → S transition). The empirical traffic breakdown (F → S transition) exhibits the nucleation nature. The empirical nucleation nature of traffic breakdown is explained by the metastability of free flow with respect to the F → S transition at the bottleneck. The terms t...

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Sergey Klenov for help and useful suggestions. We thank our partners for their support in the project “MEC-View – Object detection for automated driving based on Mobile Edge Computing,” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics of Transport and TrafficUniversity Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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