March 4 – 9 , 2018, Dagstuhl Seminar 18102

Dynamic Traffic Models in Transportation Science


Roberto Cominetti (Adolfo Ibáñez University, CL)
Tobias Harks (Universität Augsburg, DE)
Carolina Osorio (MIT – Cambridge, US)
Britta Peis (RWTH Aachen, DE)

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Susanne Bach-Bernhard for administrative matters

Shida Kunz for scientific matters

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There is a trend in the transportation community (science as well as industry) to base the prediction of traffic distributions on complex computer-based simulations that are capable of resolving many elements of a real transportation system. On the other hand, the theory of dynamic traffic assignments in terms of equilibrium existence, computability and efficiency, has not matured to the point matching the model complexity inherent in simulations. This Dagstuhl Seminar is the second in a row on this topic and aims at bringing together leading scientists in the areas traffic simulations (SIM), algorithmic game theory (AGT) and dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) with the goal to further close the gap between theory and simulations. Although the three communities SIM, DTA, AGT are wellestablished and have various specialized conferences and publication outlets, there are important open problems in their intersection that have not been resolved. In particular, the following research topics will be addressed in this seminar:

Spillback at intersections
One key aspect that currently separates complex simulation tools and DTA models is the modeling of queueing dynamics at intersections. In contrast to the conceptually simple fluid queue model in which the time to traverse an edge is composed of a flow-dependent waiting time in a queue at the entrance of the edge plus a constant travel time after leaving the queue, models with spatial spillback are more realistic but considerably increase the model complexity. Spillback at intersections may cause car blockings at adjacent roads leading to propagation effects across the entire network. The modeling of spillbacks leads to complex mathematical and algorithmic challenges that will be addressed in this seminar.

Oligopolistic DTA models
As soon as some of the agents control a fleet of (autonomously guided) vehicles, the resulting network routing game turns into an oligopolistic model in which some players, like, e.g., fleet managers, control a significant amount of traffic. In the theory of network games, such models are called atomic splittable routing models, which stand in sharp contrast to the widely used non-atomic splittable models, also known under the name Wardrop model. While the field of atomic splittable routing in dynamic networks is widely unexplored, there is a broad range of literature on atomic splittable congestion games in the static setting regarding existence, uniqueness, and efficiency of oligopolistic equilibria. During the proposed seminar, we want to deeply investigate the incorporation of travel times into such oligopolistic models.

DTA models with risk-averse travellers
A common traveller reacts to heavy and uncertain traffic condition by looking for alternate, sometimes longer but less crowded and more reliable routes. We want to understand how risk aversion can be successfully incorporated into dynamic selfish routing models.

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Roberto Cominetti, Tobias Harks, Carolina Osorio, and Britta Peis

Related Dagstuhl Seminar


  • Data Structures / Algorithms / Complexity
  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Networks


  • Dynamic traffic assignment models
  • Algorithms & complexity of traffic equilibrium computation
  • Simulation & network optimization

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