CE 702 Traffic Flow Theory

traffic-flowTraffic stream characteristics, shock wave, queuing, and other macroscopic flow theories; car following, gap acceptance, and other microscopic theories; distributions of traffic stream parameters; building traffic simulation models. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

The expectation is that a graduate student would have taken an introductory course on statistics, and has knowledge of basic traffic engineering principles (CE 305 or equivalent). Desirable to have had a senior/ graduate student course on traffic operations (CE 502 or equivalent). Course will require readings from the text and other assigned readings, writing academic papers, and leading class discussions. Some minimal data collection will be needed for model development purposes. The course will provide prospective students with the theoretical underpinnings upon which most traffic operations guides that exist today are based upon.

• Course Objectives

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand the difference between macroscopic and microscopic models.
  • Characterize the statistical distributions of principal traffic flow parameters.
  • Model and characterize congestion using shock wave and queuing theories.
  • Acquire the foundation for many traffic operational models found in the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) and other national guides.
  • Conduct small scale simulation experiments using general and specific purpose software.

• Course Outline
  • Macroscopic traffic flow theory
  • Microscopic traffic flow theory
  • Traffic impact models

• Course Requirements

HOMEWORK: Yes; 3-4 in the course of the semester

EXAMINATIONS: One Midterm exam and Final exam.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: No special computer software requirements, but knowledge of EXCEL statistics and advanced math routines or familiarity with another statistics program is necessary.

PROJECTS: Yes, but will be tailored for individual students.
• Textbook

Traffic Flow Fundamentals - http://www.amazon.com/Traffic-Flow-Fundamentals-May/dp/0139260722 In addition, the following web document, which contains a number of .pdf files will be used as a companion reference. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/operations/tft/

• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

• Instructor

Dr. Billy M. Williams, Professor
Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Mann Hall 418, Box 7908
NCSU Campus
Raleigh, NC 27695

: 919-515-7813
Fax: 919-515-7908
Email: billy_williams@ncsu.edu