Modeling and controlling traffic congestion

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This project aims at modeling and optimizing large-scale congested road networks with an aggregated realistic representation of traffic dynamics and route choice for multiple modes of transport.

When cities prosper and begin to outgrow their infrastructure, traffic often grinds to a halt. Expanding roads and highways is one common remedy to urban congestion. In this project, the Urban Transport Systems Laboratory targets to operate traffic in future cities in a holistic way that was not possible until now, increasing network passenger capacity through advanced traffic management schemes based on scientific developments in monitoring, modeling, and control of urban traffic.

The method aims to dissect the city into regions in which traffic can be described in elegant mathematical and physical terms. While the relationship between traffic density and traffic flow on individual road segments has significant scatter, this changes when several roads are grouped together in the right way. Doing so leads to the emergence of a relationship that assigns a traffic flow rate to each density. This relationship also helps to determine the critical density at which that group of roads becomes congested. By dynamically dividing a city’s road network in this way, computer models of traffic can be simplified to the point that real-time management of traffic in an entire city becomes feasible.

This research project lasts five years and is carried out by the Urban Transport Systems Laboratory of Prof. Nikolas Geroliminis. It is supported by a European Research Council Grant.

News story (17.04.18)

Principal investigator Prof. Nikolas Geroliminis
Project manager Mohammadreza Saeedmanesh
Sponsor European Research Council
Period 2012-2017
Laboratory LUTS
Collaboration TRACE