Flows Over Time as Continuous Limits of Packet-Based Network Simulations


This study examines the connection between an agent-based transport simulation and Nash flows over time. While the former is able to represent many details of traffic and model large-scale, real-world traffic situations with a co-evolutionary approach, the latter provides an environment for provable mathematical statements and results on exact user equilibria. The flow dynamics of both models are very similar with the main difference that the simulation is discrete in terms of vehicles and time while the flows over time model considers continuous flows and continuous time. This raises the question whether Nash flows over time are the limit of the convergence process when decreasing the vehicle and time step size in the simulation coherently. The experiments presented in this study indicate this strong connection which provides a justification for the analytical model and a theoretical foundation for the simulation.

Transportation Research Procedia

A preliminary version was presented at The Euro Working Group on Transportation (EWGT'20).