Proactive route guidance to avoid congestion
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We propose a proactive route guidance approach that integrates a system perspective: minimizing congestion, and a user perspective: minimizing travel inconvenience. The approach assigns paths to users so as to minimize congestion while not increasing their travel inconvenience too much. A maximum level of travel inconvenience is ensured and a certain level of fairness is maintained by limiting the set of considered paths for each Origin-Destination pair to those whose relative difference with respect to the shortest (least-duration) path, called travel inconvenience, is below a given threshold. The approach hierarchically minimizes the maximum arc utilization and the weighted average experienced travel inconvenience. Minimizing the maximum arc utilization in the network, i.e., the ratio of the number of vehicles entering an arc per time unit and the maximum number of vehicles per time unit at which vehicles can enter the arc and experience no slowdown due to congestion effects, is a system-oriented objective, while minimizing the weighted average experienced travel inconvenience, i.e., the average travel inconvenience over all eligible paths weighted by the number of vehicles per time unit that traverse the path, is a user-oriented objective. By design, to ensure computational efficiency, the approach only solves linear programming models. In a computational study using benchmark instances reflecting a road infrastructure encountered in many cities, we analyze, for different levels of maximum travel inconvenience and, the minimum maximum arc utilization and the weighted average experienced travel inconvenience. We find that accepting relatively small levels of maximum travel inconvenience can result in a significant reduction, or avoiding, of congestion. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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