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The Weakest Link: A Model of the Decline of Surface Transportation Networks

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Author Info

  • Feng Xie
  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

This study explores the economic mechanisms behind the decline of a surface transportation network, based on the assumption that the decline phase is a spontaneous process driven by decentralized decisions of individual travelers and privatized links. A simulation model is developed with a degeneration process by which the weakest link is removed iteratively from the network. Experiments reveal how the economic efficiency of a network evolves during the degeneration process and suggest an 'optimal' degenerated network could be derived during the decline phase in terms of maximizing total social welfare. Keywords: decline, transportation network, degeneration, welfare, accessibility

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/WeakestLink.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200803.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Transportation Research part E 44 100-113, doi:10.1016/j.tre.2006.09.001
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:weakestlink

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Related research

Keywords: Networks; Transportation; Structure; Entropy; Pattern; Continuity;

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References

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  1. David Levinson & Bhanu Yerra, 2006. "Self Organization of Surface Transportation Networks," Working Papers 200603, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  2. David Levinson, 2003. "Perspectives on Efficiency in Transportation," Working Papers 200303, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  3. Handy, Susan L., 1992. "Regional versus Local Accessibility: Variations in Suburban Form and the Effects on Non-Work Travel," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3rs4s3gc, University of California Transportation Center.
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Cited by:
  1. David Levinson, 2008. "Density and dispersion: the co-development of land use and rail in London," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 55-77, January.
  2. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Jurisdictional Control and Network Growth," Working Papers 200906, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

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