Modeling network-wide impacts of traffic bottleneck mitigation strategies under stochastic capacity conditions
T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f U t a h G r a d u a t e S c h o o l STATEMENT OF DISSERTATION APPROVAL The dissertation of Mingxin Li has been approved by the following supervisory committee members: ABSTRACT Traffic congestion occurs because the available capacity cannot serve the desired demand on a portion of the roadway at a particular time. Major sources of congestion include recurring bottlenecks, incidents, work zones, inclement weather, poor signal timing, and day-to-day fluctuations in
... y fluctuations in normal traffic demand. This dissertation addresses a series of critical and challenging issues in evaluating the benefits of Advanced Traveler Information Strategies under different uncertainty sources. In particular, three major modeling approaches are integrated in this dissertation, namely: mathematical programming, dynamic simulation and analytical approximation. The proposed models aim to 1) represent static-state network user equilibrium conditions, knowledge quality and accessibility of traveler information systems under both stochastic capacity and stochastic demand distributions; 2) characterize day-to-day learning behavior with different information groups under stochastic capacity and 3) quantify travel time variability from stochastic capacity distribution functions on critical bottlenecks. First, a nonlinear optimization-based conceptual framework is proposed for incorporating stochastic capacity, stochastic demand, travel time performance functions and varying degrees of traveler knowledge in an advanced traveler information provision environment. This method categorizes commuters into two classes: (1) those with access iv to perfect traffic information every day, and (2) those with knowledge of the expected traffic conditions across different days. Using a gap function framework, two mathematical programming models are further formulated to describe the route choice behavior of the perfect information and expected travel time user classes under stochastic day-dependent travel time. This dissertation also presents adaptive day-to-day traveler learning and route choice behavioral models under the travel time variability. To account for different levels of information availability and cognitive limitations of individual travelers, a set of "bounded rationality" rules are adapted to describe route choice rules for a traffic system with inherent process noise and different information provision strategies. In addition, this dissertation investigates a fundamental problem of quantifying travel time variability from its root sources: stochastic capacity and demand variations that follow commonly used log-normal distributions. The proposed models provide theoretically rigorous and practically usefully tools to understand the causes of travel time unreliability and evaluate the system-wide benefit of reducing demand and capacity variability.