Route swapping in dynamic traffic networks

Richard Mounce*, Malachy Carey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


A dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) model typically consists of a traffic performance model and a route choice model. The traffic performance model describes how traffic propagates (over time) along routes connecting origin-destination (OD) pairs, examples being the cell transmission model, the vertical queueing model and the travel time model. This is implemented in a dynamic network loading (DNL) algorithm, which uses the given route inflows to compute the link inflows (and hence link costs), which are then used to compute the route travel times (and hence route costs). A route swap process specifies the route inflows for tomorrow (at the next iteration) based on the route inflows today (at the current iteration). A dynamic user equilibrium (DUE), where each traveller on the network cannot reduce his or her cost of travel by switching to another route, can be sought by iterating between the DNL algorithm and the route swap process. The route swap process itself takes up very little computational time (although route set generation can be very computationally intensive for large networks). However, the choice of route swap process dramatically affects convergence and the speed of convergence. The paper details several route swap processes and considers whether they lead to a convergent system, assuming that the route cost vector is a monotone function of the route inflow vector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • convergence measure
  • dynamic traffic assignment
  • route swap process


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