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I'm a computer science student in desperate need for help. In the process of writing my master's thesis I've successfully developed a traffic simulation using a model I've found in the traffic research literature, the IDM, to be precise. This model seems straight-forward and is easy to grasp even for a dim mind like mine.

However, I fail to understand older car following models, such as presented by http://www-sop.inria.fr/mascotte/Philippe.Mussi/papers/esm2000.ps" [Broken] and

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/cond-mat/pdf/0002/0002177v2.pdf" [Broken]... Hopefully just because I simply don't know what some variables mean, which are apparently not introduced.

Jiménez et al. (2000) state that all car following models can be summarized by:

[tex]\ddot{x}_f ( t+T_r ) = \lambda * [ \dot{x}_{l}(t) - \dot{x}_{f}(t)] \quad (1)[/tex]

[tex]\lambda = \frac{a_{l,m}* \dot{x}_{f}^m(t+T)}{[x_{l}(t)-x_{f}(t)]^l} \quad (2)[/tex]

So my questions: what does [tex]\dot{x}_f^m[/tex] express? Sure, [tex]\dot{x}_f[/tex] is the velocity of vehicle [tex]f[/tex], but what is [tex]m[/tex]? The vehicle's mass? Why would one want to potentiate the velocity by the mass? I'm lost! Further, I interpreted [tex]l[/tex] -- being used as an index in equation 1 -- as the leading car, [tex]f[/tex] denoting the following car. However, in equation 2, [tex]l[/tex] is used as a power? How is this to be interpreted?

Similarly, Treiber et al. (2000) state that older car following models can be reduced to that formula:

[tex]\dot{v}_\alpha ( t+T_r ) = \frac{-\lambda v_\alpha^m \Delta v_\alpha}{s_\alpha^l} \quad (3)[/tex]

My question: the [tex]\lambda[/tex] in eq. 3 seems to be different to the [tex]\lambda[/tex] in eq. 2. Is it this a variable often used in physics one should just know? (It is not defined in the paper)

Thank you very much in advance for any pointers!

Alexander

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# Car Following Models

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