Approximate network loading and dual-time-scale dynamic user equilibrium

Terry L. Friesz, Taeil Kim, Changhyun Kwon, Matthew A. Rigdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a dual-time-scale formulation of dynamic user equilibrium (DUE) with demand evolution. Our formulation belongs to the problem class that Pang and Stewart (2008) refer to as differential variational inequalities. It combines the within-day time scale for which route and departure time choices fluctuate in continuous time with the day-to-day time scale for which demand evolves in discrete time steps. Our formulation is consistent with the often told story that drivers adjust their travel demands at the end of every day based on their congestion experience during one or more previous days. We show that analysis of the within-day assignment model is tremendously simplified by expressing dynamic user equilibrium as a differential variational inequality. We also show there is a class of day-to-day demand growth models that allow the dual-time-scale formulation to be decomposed by time-stepping to yield a sequence of continuous time, single-day, dynamic user equilibrium problems. To solve the single-day DUE problems arising during time-stepping, it is necessary to repeatedly solve a dynamic network loading problem. We observe that the network loading phase of DUE computation generally constitutes a differential algebraic equation (DAE) system, and we show that the DAE system for network loading based on the link delay model (LDM) of Friesz et al. (1993) may be approximated by a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). That system of ODEs, as we demonstrate, may be efficiently solved using traditional numerical methods for such problems. To compute an actual dynamic user equilibrium, we introduce a continuous time fixed-point algorithm and prove its convergence for effective path delay operators that allow a limited type of nonmonotone path delay. We show that our DUE algorithm is compatible with network loading based on the LDM and the cell transmission model (CTM) due to Daganzo (1995). We provide a numerical example based on the much studied Sioux Falls network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-207
Number of pages32
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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