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High-resolution relaxation approximations to second-order macroscopic traffic flow models

Delis Anargyros, Nikolos Ioannis, Papageorgiou Markos

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Year 2014
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
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A novel numerical approach for the approximation of several, widely applied, macroscopic traffic flow models is presented. A relaxation-type approximation of second-order nonequilibrium models, written in conservation or balance law form, is considered. Using the relaxation approximation, the nonlinear equations are transformed to a semi-linear diagonilizable problem with linear characteristic variables and stiff source terms. To discretize the resulting relaxation system, low- and high-resolution reconstructions in space and implicit–explicit Runge–Kutta time integration schemes are considered. The family of spatial discretizations includes a second-order MUSCL scheme and a fifth-order WENO scheme, and a detailed formulation of the scheme is presented. Emphasis is given on the WENO scheme and its performance for solving the different traffic models. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, extensive numerical tests are performed for the different models. The computations reported here demonstrate the simplicity and versatility of relaxation schemes as solvers for macroscopic traffic flow models.

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