Anisotropy in generic multi-class traffic flow models

Femke van Wageningen-Kessels, Bas van't Hof, Serge P. Hoogendoorn, Hans van Lint, Kees Vuik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Traffic flow models and simulation tools are often used for traffic state estimation and prediction. Recently several multi-class models based on the kinematic wave traffic flow model have been introduced. These multi-class models take into account the heterogeneity of both vehicles and drivers. We analyse two important properties of these models: hyperbolicity and anisotropy. Both properties relate to the propagation speed of disturbances, as can be observed in real traffic. We discuss the importance of traffic flow models to be hyperbolic and anisotropic. Moreover, we develop a framework to analyse whether traffic flow models have these properties. Therefore, we derive a generic formulation of multi-class kinematic wave traffic flow models, rewrite it in the Lagrangian formulation and apply eigenvalue analysis to the resulting system of equations. Our analysis shows that most multi-class kinematic wave traffic flow models are indeed hyperbolic and anisotropic under certain modelling conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-472
Number of pages22
JournalTransportmetrica A: Transport Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • continuum models
  • multi-class
  • traffic anisotropy
  • traffic flow

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