Dimensions of Queuing Models

Dimensions of Queuing Models The purpose of traffic queuing models is to provide a means to estimate important measures of highway performance, including vehicle delay and traffic queue lengths. Such estimates are critical to roadway design (the required length

of left-turn bays and the number of lanes at intersections) and traffic operations control, including the timing of traffic signals at intersections.

Queuing models are derived from underlying assumptions regarding arrival patterns, departure characteristics, and queue disciplines. Traffic arrival patterns were explored in Section 5.4, where, given an average vehicle arrival rate (λ), two possible distributions of the time between the arrival of successive vehicles were considered:

1. Equal time intervals (derived from the assumption of uniform, deterministic arrivals)

2. Exponentially distributed time intervals (derived from the assumption of Poisson-distributed arrivals)

In addition to vehicle arrival assumptions, the derivation of traffic queuing models requires assumptions relating to vehicle departure characteristics. Of particular interest is the distribution of the amount of time it takes a vehicle to depart—for example, the time to pass through an intersection at the beginning of a green signal, the time required to pay a toll at a toll booth, or the time a driver takes before deciding to proceed after stopping at a stop sign. As was the case for arrival patterns, given an average vehicle departure rate (denoted as μ, in vehicles per unit time), the assumption of a deterministic or exponential distribution of departure times is appropriate.

Another important aspect of queuing models is the number of available departure channels. For most traffic applications only one departure channel will exist, such as a highway lane or group of lanes passing through an intersection. However, multiple departure channels are encountered in some traffic applications, such as at toll booths on turnpikes and at entrances to bridges.

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