A myriad of trips, each with its own origin, destination, and departure time, interact on a network to produce an intricate pattern of traffic flows. The task of traffic flow theory is to weave a web of cause and effect which - given the triad of origin, destination, and departure time - can replicate the major features of what one would observe in reality. Traditionally, this theory has dealt with exceedingly simple origin-destination structures, a fact which may have limited its applicability. The aim of this paper is to remove this limitation. The building blocks of the broader theory are: a road which traffic may enter and leave at any point, a speed-flow relationship which may vary along the road and depends on the local capacity, and a description of the pattern of trip making by origin, destination, and departure time. We show that the reconstitution of the traffic flow pattern from these building blocks requires two equations: a 'local equation' which governs what happens in a small space-time neighbourhood just as in the traditional theories, and a 'history equation' which supplies all the pertinent information about the evolution of the flow pattern which is needed to specify its future course. The use of these two equations is illustrated by a numerical example. (Author/TRRL)

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: p. 155-178

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00392082
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Institute for Road Safety Research, SWOV
  • ISBN: 90-6764-008-5
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 29 1985 12:00AM