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Analysis of kinematic waves arising in diverging traffic flow models

Abstract

Diverging junctions are important network bottlenecks, and a better understanding of diverging traffic dynamics has both theoretical and practical implications. In this paper, we present a new framework for constructing kinematic wave solutions to the Riemann problem of kinematic wave models of diverging traffic with jump initial conditions. Within this framework, the function space of weak solutions is enlarged to include interior states that occur with stationary discontinuities, and various discrete flux functions in cell transmission models of diverging traffic are used as entropy conditions to pick out unique physical solutions. Then in demand-supply space, we prove that the Riemann problem can be uniquely solved for existing discrete flux functions, in the sense that stationary states and, therefore, shock or rarefaction waves on all links, can be uniquely determined under given initial conditions. We show that the two diverge models by Lebacque and Daganzo are asymptotically equivalent. We also prove that the supply proportional and priority-based diverge models are locally optimal evacuation strategies. With numerical examples, we demonstrate the validity of the analytical solutions of interior states, stationary states, and corresponding kinematic waves. This study presents a unified framework for analyzing traffic dynamics arising at diverging junctions and could be helpful for developing emergency evacuation strategies.

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