Theory of Traffic Flow
Transport systems provide an essential facility for citizens to fulfill their contemporary ways of life by supporting and facilitating their safe and convenient travel. Consulting firms and local authorities employ teams of professional staff to plan, design, improve, manage and operate these systems in ways that help to make cities better places for people to live.
The methods used by them rely on mathematical representations of travel and traffic flow, which covers the detailed movement of traffic along individual roads and through particular junctions. Beyond this, they also represent the choices made by individual travelers and the ways in which these generate patterns of traffic movement across whole cities. The course provides an introduction to the various kinds of mathematical modelling that are used in transport studies. Examples of modelling at each of the levels of detail described above are considered. Mathematical models are developed from first principles and related to more widely applicable techniques of operational research. This illustrates the merits of mathematical analysis and modelling for design and operation of practical systems.