The link transmission model with variable fundamental diagrams and initial conditions

Jeroen van der Gun, Adam Pel, Bart van Arem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
285 Downloads (Pure)


The link transmission model is a macroscopic network traffic flow simulation tool based on Lighthill–Whitham–Richards theory. While its efficiency and accuracy are superior to the well-known cell transmission model, applications of its current numerical formulations are limited by the inability to apply changes to the fundamental diagrams of links within a simulation and the need to start the simulation with an empty network. We resolve both limitations by developing a methodology for initialising the discrete-time link model with a non-empty initial condition and for computing within-link densities during the simulation, which can then serve as an initial condition for continued simulation with a new fundamental diagram. Since the computation of within-link densities is algebraic, no new numerical errors are introduced. Optional support for multiple commodities, subcritical delays and platoon dispersion, are retained. The resulting model is demonstrated on a motorway corridor network with variable speed limits and dynamic lane management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-864
Number of pages31
JournalTransportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics
Volume7 (2019)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018


  • link transmission model
  • first-order model
  • Smulders fundamental diagram
  • traffic control
  • environmental conditions


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