Game theoretical framework for bicycle operations: A multi-strategy framework

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This paper presents a novel microscopic modelling framework for bicycle flow operations. The modelling principles are based on similar principles successfully applied in our previous work on pedestrian and vessel flow. The main contributions of the paper are in the extension towards modelling cyclists that has not been proposed in literature before, and in the insights gained by simulation with the model using different scenarios, showing how the model outcomes depend on the modelling choices and parameters. The generalisation entails two major changes compared to our previous pedestrian model. First of all, the model does justice to the kinematics of cyclists. Contrary to pedestrians, cyclist are more restricted in their movement. The model approximates these restrictions by considering speed and movement direction and changes therein. Secondly, the model includes different strategies (cooperative, zero-acceleration, demon opponent) in its underlying game-theoretical framework, and allows including traffic rules. This allows us to model different attitudes towards risk representing different types of cyclists. The (qualitative) insights gained by application of the model pertain to one-on-one interactions between cyclists and the impact of the strategy assumptions and parameter choices on those interactions as well as on the collective phenomena that occur in the cyclist flow and their sensitivity to parameters (reflecting the extent of the prediction horizon, the level of anisotropy, and the relative importance of keeping the desired path). With respect to the collective phenomena, we look at efficiency and self-organised patterns. We conclude that the model acts in a plausible manner. While we do not aim to show empirical validity, we see that the qualitative behaviour of one-on-one interactions is plausible if compared to experimental or field data. We also observe plausible collective patterns, including forms of self-organisation under specific parameter settings. The latter is not trivial given the fundamental differences in bicycle and pedestrian flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103175
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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