Dynamic network loading: a differentiable model that derives link state distributions
We present a dynamic network loading model that yields queue length distributions, accounts for spillbacks, and maintains a differentiable mapping from the dynamic demand on the dynamic queue lengths. The approach builds upon an existing stationary queueing network model that is based on finite capacity queueing theory. The original model is specified in terms of a set of differentiable equations, which in the new model are carried over to a set of equally smooth difference equations. The physical correctness of the new model is experimentally confirmed in several congestion regimes. A comparison with results predicted by the kinematic wave model (KWM) shows that the new model correctly represents the dynamic build-up, spillback, and dissipation of queues. It goes beyond the KWM in that it captures queue lengths and spillbacks probabilistically, which allows for a richer analysis than the deterministic predictions of the KWM. The new model also generates a plausible fundamental diagram, which demonstrates that it captures well the stationary flow/density relationships in both congested and uncongested conditions.