Analytical calculation of critical perturbation amplitudes and critical densities by non-linear stability analysis of a simple traffic flow model
ETH Zurich, UNO D11, Universitätstr. 41, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 14 February 2009
Driven many-particle systems with nonlinear interactions are known to often display multi-stability, i.e. depending on the respective initial condition, there may be different outcomes. Here, we study this phenomenon for traffic models, some of which show stable and linearly unstable density regimes, but areas of metastability in between. In these areas, perturbations larger than a certain critical amplitude will cause a lasting breakdown of traffic, while smaller ones will fade away. While there are common methods to study linear instability, non-linear instability had to be studied numerically in the past. Here, we present an analytical study for the optimal velocity model with a stepwise specification of the optimal velocity function and a simple kind of perturbation. Despite various approximations, the analytical results are shown to reproduce numerical results very well.
PACS: 89.40.Bb – Land transportation / 45.70.Vn – Granular models of complex systems; traffic flow / 83.60.Wc – Flow instabilities
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2009