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Access control policies without inside queues: Their properties and public policy implications


  • Zhang, H.M.
  • Shen, Wei


An access control policy that eliminates all queues beyond the entry points to a network has obvious benefits, which include smooth travel and predictable travel times inside the network. Yet it has never been proven, to the best of our knowledge, whether excluding inside queues yields sub-optimal network performance or, in other words, allowing inside queues can actually further reduce the system travel cost. Moreover, it is not clear whether an optimal control policy derived from efficiency considerations can also be a fair policy to all road users. This paper provide answers to these questions in the context of a monocentric network. By analyzing the structure of the access control problem considering all feasible policies (with/without inside queues), we show that the minimal system cost realizable by access control can be obtained without directly solving a non-convex optimization program, and can indeed always be achieved by a control policy excluding all of the inside queues. These optimal policies are defined by a polyhedral set and a Finite Generation Algorithm can be applied to derive the analytical form of this set. The optimal policies are not unique in general, thus making it possible to achieve both minimal system cost and fairness simultaneously.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, H.M. & Shen, Wei, 2010. "Access control policies without inside queues: Their properties and public policy implications," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(8-9), pages 1132-1147, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:44:y::i:8-9:p:1132-1147

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daganzo, Carlos F., 1995. "The cell transmission model, part II: Network traffic," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 79-93, April.
    2. Zhang, H. M. & Recker, W. W., 1999. "On optimal freeway ramp control policies for congested traffic corridors," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 417-436, August.
    3. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2005. "Balancing Efficiency and Equity of Ramp Meters," Working Papers 200508, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    4. Carey, Malachy, 1992. "Nonconvexity of the dynamic traffic assignment problem," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 127-133, April.
    5. Daganzo, Carlos F., 1994. "The cell transmission model: A dynamic representation of highway traffic consistent with the hydrodynamic theory," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 269-287, August.
    6. Lovell, David J. & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2000. "Access control on networks with unique origin-destination paths," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 185-202, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karsu, Özlem & Morton, Alec, 2015. "Inequity averse optimization in operational research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 245(2), pages 343-359.
    2. Xiao, Feng & Shen, Wei & Michael Zhang, H., 2012. "The morning commute under flat toll and tactical waiting," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1346-1359.


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