Monte Carlo simulations of thermodynamic models for highway traffic congestion

With an increasing number of highway traffic jams the interest in simulations of traffic flow is rising. Some models, which have been correlated with measured data, point towards the fact that the formation of congestion on a highway behaves like a phase separation between a gas and a liquid. As a condensation forms with an increasing concentration of a gas so does a congestion form on the highway with an increasing number of cars. The scope of this thesis is to examine through Monte Carlo simulations if the phase separation analogy is correct, this would prove that thermodynamic rules can be applied to highway traffic flows. If thermodynamic properties can be ascribed to traffic flow it will be possible to discuss quantities such as temperature, pressure and even entropy of a highway.

From the simulations performed in this thesis it was possible to draw several conclusions. These conclusions deals mostly with which algorithms that should be used and what further research can be done to obtain the desired result.

Author: Stromberg, Anders

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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