Congestion analysis of unsignalized intersections: The impact of impatience and Markov platooning

Abhishek, Marko Boon, Michel Mandjes, Rudesindo Núñez-Queija

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This paper considers an unsignalized intersection used by two traffic streams. A stream of cars is using a primary road, and has priority over the other stream. Cars belonging to the latter stream cross the primary road if the gaps between two subsequent cars on the primary road are larger than their critical headways. A question that naturally arises relates to the capacity of the secondary road: given the arrival pattern of cars on the primary road, what is the maximum arrival rate of low-priority cars that can be sustained? This paper addresses this issue by considering a compact model that sheds light on the dynamics of the considered unsignalized intersection. The model, which is of a queueing-theoretic nature, reveals interesting insights into the impact of the user behavior on stability. The contributions of this paper are threefold. First, we obtain new results for the aforementioned model that includes driver impatience. Secondly, we reveal some surprising aspects that have remained unobserved in the existing literature so far, many of which are caused by the fact that the capacity of the minor road cannot be expressed in terms of the \emph{mean} gap size; instead more detailed characteristics of the critical headway distribution play a crucial role. The third contribution is the introduction of a new form of bunching on the main road, called Markov platooning. The tractability of this model allows us to study the impact of various platoon formations on the main road on the capacity of the minor road.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1802.06732v1
Number of pages22, e-Print Archive, Mathematics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

An earlier, related paper which also contains some of the results (in more detail) published in the present paper, appeared in the proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks (COMSNETS), 5-10 Jan. 2016. This conference paper can also be found on arXiv and in IEEE Xplore:


  • math.OC
  • math.PR
  • physics.soc-ph


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