Build your own traffic jam

2008-03-12

in Geek stuff, Internet matters

Those interested in matters of transport and urban planning will find this Java-based traffic simulator entertaining. The model – produced by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technoloy can simulate ring roads, highway onramps, the effect of lane closures, and other things.

It definitely demonstrates the existence of tipping points in complex dynamic systems like traffic. Often, you find that a very subtle change has a huge macro-level effect. While the simulation surely isn’t perfect, it does suggest that more capable versions could be excellent planning tools.

The Swiss group has other models, as well.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 14, 2008 at 1:25 pm

This site, displayed graphically.

It is fun to watch it unfold.

Anonymous March 14, 2008 at 1:27 pm

The process looks very biological.

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