Course information

Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Dr. V.L. Knoop
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
0/0/6/0 + 0/0/4/0
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
The course discusses traffic flow and the relation between individual movmenents and collective patterns. How does congestion start and how does it propagate. The following topics are discussed:

Lecture 1: Variables, speed averaging, headway distributions
Lecture 2: Cumulative flow curves, vertical queuing
Lecture 3: Macroscopic characteristics, q=ku, fundamental diagram
Lecture 4: Shockwave theory I
Lecture 5: Shockwave theory II (moving bottleneck)
Lecture 6: Phenomena: Traffic state recognition, capacity drop, stop-and-go, stability
Lecture 7: Macroscopic models: Cell Transmission Model, Lagrangian coordinates
Lecture 8: Car-following I
Lecture 9: Car-following II
Lecture 10: Tree phases of traffic, the use of simulation models
Lecture 11: Multi-lane traffic flow
Lecture 12: Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (or Network Fundamental Diagram)
Lecture 13: Pedestrians
Study Goals
After successful completion of the course, a student is able to:
- apply the equation q=ku
-analyse and explain the differences between observation methods, in particular the effects of moving observers and averaging methods (time mean vs space mean)
-apply traffic simulation models, both microscopic and macroscopic, and explain their shortcomings
-describe traffic dynamics using shockwave theory
-describe the traffic situation in the three coordinates of traffic (N, X, T) and comment on the advantages of each
-construct and interpret x,t plots, and to apply Edies definitions of density, flow and average speed
-describe lane changing maneuvers and the effects thereof on the traffic stream
-recognize traffic states from traffic measurements, and derive the causes for the observed traffic states
-aanalyse a traffic problem, make reasonable behavioural assumptions thereof and make queuing calculations
-link the theory to observation techniques and vice versa
-evaluate the differences in methodology to calculate delays in a traffic network, and choose an appropriate one
Education Method
Lectures, computer assignments
Computer Use
during the assignment, the use of MATLAB is encouraged (and can be learned on-the-go, although it would require more time than if one already knows)
Course Relations
Follow-up courses: CIE 4822, CIE 5804
Literature and Study Materials
Lecture notes available via blackboard
Old exams and answers
Written examen, open questions and practical (groups of 3 students)
The assignment result is only valid in the (study) year the assingment is made. If the student fails the course, a new assignment has to be done.
Written exam >5 and practical >5
Expected prior Knowledge
Academic Skills
Thinking (critical, analytical)
Writing reports, reviews, articles
Problem solving
Judgemental skills
Debating and discussion.
Literature & Study Materials
Lecture notes available via blackboard. Optional background books (not used in lecturing or exam preparation, only for reference material):
Kesting, Arne. Traffic Flow Dynamics: Data, Models and Simulation. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.
Elefteriadou, L. (2014). An introduction to traffic flow theory. Springer.
Calculation: 70% written exam and 30% assignment
Permitted Materials during Exam
1 A4 hand written, two sides max 30 lines/side, and 50 characters/line
(allowed: graphs, text, equations, ...)
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