Heterogenous motorised traffic flow modelling using cellular automata
Deo, Puspita (2007) Heterogenous motorised traffic flow modelling using cellular automata. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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Traffic congestion is a major problem in most major cities around the world with few signs that this is diminishing, despite management efforts. In planning traffic management and control strategies at urban and inter urban level, understanding the factors involved in vehicular progression is vital. Most work to date has, however, been restricted to single vehicle-type traffic. Study of heterogeneous traffic movements for urban single and multi-lane roads has been limited, even for developed countries and motorised traffic mix, (with a broader spectrum of vehicle type applicable for cities in the developing world). The aim of the research, presented in this thesis, was thus to propose and develop a model for heterogeneous motorised traffic, applicable to situations, involving common urban and interurban road features in the western or developed world. A further aim of the work was to provide a basis for comparison with current models for homogeneous vehicle type.
A two-component cellular automata (2-CA) methodology is used to examine traffic patterns for single-lane, multi-lane controlled and uncontrolled intersections and roundabouts. In this heterogeneous model (binary mix), space mapping rules are used for each vehicle type, namely long (double-unit length) and short (single-unit length) vehicles. Vehicle type is randomly categorised as long (LV) or short (SV) with different fractions considered. Update rules are defined based on given and neighbouring cell states at each time step, on manoeuvre complexity and on acceptable space criteria for different vehicle types. Inclusion of heterogeneous traffic units increases the algorithm complexity as different criteria apply to different cellular elements, but mixed traffic is clearly more reflective of the real-world situation.
The impact of vehicle mix on the overall performance of an intersection and roundabout (one-lane one-way, one-lane two-way and two-lane two-way) has been examined. The model for mixed traffic was also compared to similar models for homogeneous vehicle type, with throughput, queue length and other metrics explored. The relationship between arrival rates on the entrance roads and throughput for mixed traffic was studied and it was found that, as for the homogeneous case, critical arrival rates can be identified for various traffic conditions. Investigation of performance metrics for heterogeneous traffic (short and long vehicles), can be shown to reproduce main aspects of real-world configuration performance. This has been validated, using local Dublin traffic data.
The 2-CA model can be shown to simulate successfully both homogeneous and heterogeneous traffic over a range of parameter values for arrival, turning rates, different urban configurations and a distribution of vehicle types. The developed model has potential to extend its use to linked transport network elements and can also incorporate further motorised and non-motorised vehicle diversity for various road configurations. It is anticipated that detailed studies, such as those presented here, can support efforts on traffic management and aid in the design of optimisation strategies for traffic flow.
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