Comparing whole-link travel time models used in DTA

Malachy Carey, Yingen Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In a model commonly used in dynamic traffic assignment the link travel time for a vehicle entering a link at time t is taken as a function of the number of vehicles on the link at time t. In an alternative recently introduced model, the travel time for a vehicle entering a link at time t is taken as a function of an estimate of the flow in the immediate neighbourhood of the vehicle, averaged over the time the vehicle is traversing the link. Here we compare the solutions obtained from these two models when applied to various inflow profiles. We also divide the link into segments, apply each model sequentially to the segments and again compare the results. As the number of segments is increased, the discretisation refined to the continuous limit, the solutions from the two models converge to the same solution, which is the solution of the Lighthill, Whitham, Richards (LWR) model for traffic flow. We illustrate the results for different travel time functions and patterns of inflows to the link. In the numerical examples the solutions from the second of the two models are closer to the limit solutions. We also show that the models converge even when the link segments are not homogeneous, and introduce a correction scheme in the second model to compensate for an approximation error, hence improving the approximation to the LWR model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-926
Number of pages22
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Transportation

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