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Exploring the Role of Spatial Cognition in Predicting Urban Traffic Flow through Agent-based Modelling

Manley, E; Cheng, T; (2018) Exploring the Role of Spatial Cognition in Predicting Urban Traffic Flow through Agent-based Modelling. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice , 109 pp. 14-23. 10.1016/j.tra.2018.01.020. Green open access

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Abstract

Urban systems are highly complex and non-linear in nature, defined by the behaviours and interactions of many individuals. Building on a wealth of new data and advanced simulation methods, conventional research into urban systems seeks to embrace this complexity, measuring and modelling cities with increasingly greater detail and reliability. The practice of transportation modelling, despite recent developments, lags behind these advances. This paper addresses the implications resulting from variations in model design, with a focus on the behaviour and cognition of drivers, demonstrating how different models of choice and experience significantly influence the distribution of traffic. It is demonstrated how conventional models of urban traffic have not fully incorporated many of the important findings from the cognitive science domain, instead often describing actions in terms of individual optimisation. We introduce exploratory agent-based modelling that incorporates representations of behaviour from a more cognitively rich perspective. Specifically, through these simulations, we identify how spatial cognition in respect to route selection and the inclusion of heterogeneity in spatial knowledge significantly impact the spatial extent and volume of traffic flow within a real-world setting. These initial results indicate that individual-level models of spatial cognition can potentially play an important role in predicting urban traffic flow, and that greater heed should be paid to these approaches going forward. The findings from this work hold important lessons in the development of models of transport systems and hold potential implications for policy.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring the Role of Spatial Cognition in Predicting Urban Traffic Flow through Agent-based Modelling
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2018.01.020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2018.01.020
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Keywords: Transportation Modelling; Route Choice; Traffic Flow; Spatial Cognition; Complexity
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041293
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