A Dynamic Travel Time Model for Spillback

  • Soulaymane Kachani
  • Georgia Perakis


In this paper we introduce travel time models that incorporate spillback and bottleneck phenomena. In particular, we study a model for determining the link travel times for drivers entering a link as well as drivers already in the link but whose travel times are affected by a significant change in traffic conditions (e.g. spillback or bottleneck phenomena). To achieve this goal, we extend the fluid dynamics travel time models proposed by Perakis (1997)and subsequently by Kachani (2002), and Kachani and Perakis (2001), to also incorporate such phenomena. These models utilize fluid dynamics laws for compressible flow to capture a variety of flow patterns such as the formation and dissipation of queues, drivers’ response to upstream congestion or decongestion and drivers’ reaction time. We propose variants of these models that explicitly account for spillback and bottleneck phenomena. Our investigation considers both separable and non-separable velocity functions.


Dynamic travel times Fluid models Spillback 



Preparation of this paper was supported, in part, by the PECASE Award DMI-9984339 from the National Science Foundation, the Charles Reed Faculty Initiative Fund, the New England University Transportation Research Grant and the Singapore MIT Alliance Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IEOR DepartmentColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.MIT Sloan School of ManagementCambridgeUSA

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