Impact of information on topology-induced traffic oscillations

Yanhong Wang, Rui Jiang, Yu Nie, Ziyou Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown traffic oscillations can be induced by special network topology. In the simplest case, a network of twointersections connected by two parallel roads would produce oscillatory traffic, when the split of drivers between the two roads falls into certain range. To understand how traffic informationmay affect such oscillations, a subset of drivers is allowed to be "reactive" in this study; that is, their route choice varies according to information about prevailing traffic conditions on the roads.Weshowthat, depending on the ratio of reactive drivers, the system displays six new decaying, periodic oscillatory, or stable patterns. All solutions are obtained analytically in closed form and validated by macroscopic traffic simulation. Of all the solutions discovered, only one both is stable and fully utilizes the road space between the two intersections, and hence it is more desirable than the other solutions. The findings reveal the link between information provision and topology-induced oscillations, which may help practitioners design strategies that contribute to mitigating the adverse impact of such oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Information provision
  • Network topology
  • Route choice
  • Traffic oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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