IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Traffic at the Edge of Chaos


  • Kai Nagel
  • Steen Rasmussen


We use a very simple description of human driving behavior to simulate traffic. The regime of maximum vehicle flow in a closed system shows near-critical behavior, and as a result a sharp decrease of the predictability of travel time. Since Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMSs) tend to drive larger parts of the transportation system towards this regime of maximum flow, we argue that in consequence the traffic system as a whole will be driven closer to criticality, thus making predictions much harder. A simulation of simplified transportation network supports our argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai Nagel & Steen Rasmussen, 1994. "Traffic at the Edge of Chaos," Working Papers 94-06-032, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:94-06-032

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kelly, Terence, 1997. "Driver strategy and traffic system performance," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 235(3), pages 407-416.
    2. Joshua M. Epstein, 2007. "Agent-Based Computational Models and Generative Social Science," Introductory Chapters,in: Generative Social Science Studies in Agent-Based Computational Modeling Princeton University Press.
    3. van Ackere, Ann & Larsen, Erik R., 2004. "Self-organising behaviour in the presence of negative externalities: A conceptual model of commuter choice," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 501-513, September.
    4. Kenneth A. Small & Xuehao Chu, 2003. "Hypercongestion," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 319-352, September.
    5. Blue, Victor J. & Adler, Jeffrey L., 2001. "Cellular automata microsimulation for modeling bi-directional pedestrian walkways," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 293-312, March.

    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:wop:safiwp:94-06-032. 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: (Thomas Krichel). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.