Ideal Flow Traffic Analysis: A Case Study on a Campus Road Network

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Traditional traffic assignment models often use historical travel demand, such as the costly origin-destination flow distribution and actual flow distribution, as inputs in determining the most efficient distribution of flow on a road network. In this paper, the authors examine the ideal flow network (IFN) model, a novel and alternative traffic assignment model. The IFN model is compared with a traditional traffic assignment model using a generic model comparison method. The application of the method is presented using a campus road network as a case study to examine the importance of understanding the road network structure – by making a comparison between the results of a traditional traffic assignment model and the IFN model to gain nuanced insights into the distribution of the traffic flow. The authors suggest that – while both models can yield almost the same result – the IFN model has the advantage of using a stochastic matrix, which is more readily available than demand data. The IFN model is likewise more geared toward evaluating the ideas of solving the traffic problem through simulation modeling, which – as a form of social engineering – is easier to stabilize into traffic management.