At any given moment, there are millions of cars traveling on roads. These vehicles interact with each other impacting the overall movement or traffic flow. When these roadways hit maximum capacity, traffic congestion occurs. Traffic congestion appears due to a rapid increase in demand for the road outweighs the number of vehicles that can efficiently travel on the infrastructure, which can lead to delays, accidents, and excess pollution. Studying traffic flow has allowed for new innovations to improve its efficiency. Because of impulsiveness of drivers, it is impossible to be certain how a driver will react. However, drivers' behaviors tend to be reasonably consistent, so engineers and mathematicians create models to help design and plan the roads to prevent traffic congestion. Traffic flow can be divided into two categories: uninterrupted and interrupted traffic flow. Uninterrupted traffic flow, primarily found on freeways or highways, refers to traffic as one continuous flowing stream. With interrupted traffic flow, traffic is regulated by external factors other than vehicles such as accidents, traffic signals and road obstructions. It is important to determine what type of traffic flow is occurring so that the correct analysis method can accurately model the collected data.


Ramsay, John




Applied Mathematics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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