Publication Details

Barthelemy, J. & Carletti, T. (2017). A dynamic behavioural traffic assignment model with strategic agents. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 85 23-46.


Foresee traffic conditions and demand is a major issue nowadays that is very often approached using simulation tools. The aim of this work is to propose an innovative strategy to tackle such problem, relying on the presentation and analysis of a behavioural dynamic traffic assignment. The proposal relies on the assumption that travellers take routing policies rather than paths, leading us to introduce the possibility for each simulated agent to apply, in real time, a strategy allowing him to possibly re-route his path depending on the perceived local traffic conditions, jam and/or time already spent in his journey. The re-routing process allows the agents to directly react to any change in the road network. For the sake of simplicity, the agents' strategy is modelled with a simple neural network whose parameters are determined during a preliminary training stage. The inputs of such neural network read the local information about the route network and the output gives the action to undertake: stay on the same path or modify it. As the agents use only local information, the overall network topology does not really matter, thus the strategy is able to cope with large and not previously explored networks. Numerical experiments are performed on various scenarios containing different proportions of trained strategic agents, agents with random strategies and non strategic agents, to test the robustness and adaptability to new environments and varying network conditions. The methodology is also compared against existing approaches and real world data. The outcome of the experiments suggest that this work-in-progress already produces encouraging results in terms of accuracy and computational efficiency. This indicates that the proposed approach has the potential to provide better tools to investigate and forecast drivers' choice behaviours. Eventually these tools can improve the delivery and efficiency of traffic information to the drivers.