Traffic model

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A traffic model is a mathematical model of real-world traffic, usually, but not restricted to, road traffic. Traffic modeling draws heavily on theoretical foundations like network theory and certain theories from physics like the kinematic wave model. The interesting quantity being modeled and measured is the traffic flow, i.e. the throughput of mobile units (e.g. vehicles) per time and transportation medium capacity (e.g. road or lane width). Models can teach researchers and engineers how to ensure an optimal flow with a minimum number of traffic jams.

Traffic models often are the basis of a traffic simulation.[1]


Microscopic traffic flow model
Traffic flow is assumed to depend on individual mobile units, i.e. cars, which are explicitly modeled
Macroscopic traffic flow model
Only the mass action or the statistical properties of a large number of units is analyzed


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  1. ^ Mahmud, Khizir; Town, Graham E. (June 2016). "A review of computer tools for modeling electric vehicle energy requirements and their impact on power distribution networks". Applied Energy. 172: 337–359. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.03.100.

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