IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings


  • Geroliminis, Nikolas
  • Daganzo, Carlos F.


A field experiment in Yokohama (Japan) reveals that a macroscopic fundamental diagram (MFD) linking space-mean flow, density and speed exists on a large urban area. The experiment used a combination of fixed detectors and floating vehicle probes as sensors. It was observed that when the somewhat chaotic scatter-plots of speed vs. density from individual fixed detectors were aggregated the scatter nearly disappeared and points grouped neatly along a smoothly declining curve. This evidence suggests, but does not prove, that an MFD exists for the complete network because the fixed detectors only measure conditions in their proximity, which may not represent the whole network. Therefore, the analysis was enriched with data from GPS-equipped taxis, which covered the entire network. The new data were filtered to ensure that only full-taxi trips (i.e., representative of automobile trips) were retained in the sample. The space-mean speeds and densities at different times-of-day were then estimated for the whole study area using relevant parts of the detector and taxi data sets. These estimates were still found to lie close to a smoothly declining curve with deviations smaller than those of individual links - and entirely explained by experimental error. The analysis also revealed a fixed relation between the space-mean flows on the whole network, which are easy to estimate given the existence of an MFD, and the trip completion rates, which dynamically measure accessibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Geroliminis, Nikolas & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2008. "Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 759-770, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:42:y:2008:i:9:p:759-770

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2005. "Improving City Mobility through Gridlock Control: an Approach and Some Ideas," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt7w6232wq, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    2. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2002. "A behavioral theory of multi-lane traffic flow. Part I: Long homogeneous freeway sections," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 131-158, February.
    3. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2007. "Urban gridlock: Macroscopic modeling and mitigation approaches," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 49-62, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:42:y:2008:i:9:p:759-770. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.