Searching for empirical evidence on traffic equilibrium

Mehmet Yildirimoglu, Osman Kahraman, Peng Chen
2018 PLoS ONE  
Cities around the world are inundated by cars and suffer traffic congestion that results in excess delays, reduced safety and environmental pollution. The interplay between road infrastructure and travel choices defines the level and the spatio-temporal extent of congestion. Given the existing infrastructure, understanding how the route choice decisions are made and how travellers interact with each other is a crucial first step in mitigating traffic congestion. This is a problem with
more » ... l importance, as it has implications for other limited supply systems where agents compete for resources and reach an equilibrium. Here, we observe the route choice decisions and the traffic conditions through an extensive data set of GPS trajectories. We compare the actual paths followed by travellers to those implied by equilibrium conditions (i) at a microscopic scale, where we focus on individual path similarities, and (ii) at a macroscopic scale, where we perform networklevel comparison of the traffic loads. We present that non-cooperative or selfish equilibrium replicates the actual traffic (to a certain extent) at the macroscopic scale, while the majority of individual decisions cannot be reproduced by neither selfish nor cooperative equilibrium models.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0196997 pmid:29734394 pmcid:PMC5937752 fatcat:lwn6b4e6kbc6rmz2kp6ukyh4bu