A theoretical probe of a German experiment on stationary moving traffic jams

Wei Hua Lin, Hong K. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kerner and Rehborn (Phys.Rev.E 53 (2) (1996)) reported on the observation of two stationary moving jams that lasted for about an hour on a 13 km long German highway section. They attributed the phenomenon to intrinsic characteristics of traffic flow, something that would arise spontaneously within the traffic stream due to drivers' driving behavior. We show in this paper that these moving jams are not particularly peculiar but can be explained with the hydrodynamic theory of traffic flow, or the Lighthill-Whitham-Richards model, and the merge and diverge models in the cell transmission model. In fact, we demonstrate that this stationary jam phenomenon can be replicated with a simple two-wave velocity (or triangular) flow-density relationship in conjunction with the hydrodynamic theory. This finding provides some evidence to support that a triangular flow-density relationship is a good approximation of field observations and that a simple first-order hydrodynamic theory is capable of explaining complex traffic phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

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Hydrodynamics
traffic
experiment
Experiments
traffic behavior
driver
Experiment
evidence
Traffic flow
Approximation
Intrinsic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Transportation

Cite this

A theoretical probe of a German experiment on stationary moving traffic jams. / Lin, Wei Hua; Lo, Hong K.

In: Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Vol. 37, No. 3, 03.2003, p. 251-261.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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