In this paper, we extended road-based topological analysis to both nationwide and urban road networks, and concentrated on a sensitivity study with respect to the formation of self-organized natural roads based on the Gestalt principle of good continuity. Both annual average daily traffic (AADT) and global positioning system (GPS) data were used to correlate with a series of ranking metrics including five centrality-based metrics and two PageRank metrics. It was found that there exists a tipping point from segment-based to road-based network topology in terms of correlation between ranking metrics and their traffic. To our great surprise, (1) this correlation is significantly improved if a selfish rather than utopian strategy is adopted in forming the self-organized natural roads, and (2) point-based metrics assigned by summation into individual roads tend to have a much better correlation with traffic flow than line-based metrics. These counter-intuitive surprising findings constitute emergent properties of self-organized natural roads, which are intelligent enough for predicting traffic flow, thus shedding substantial light on the understanding of road networks and their traffic from the perspective of complex networks.
Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
- Pub Date:
- July 2008
- Physics - Data Analysis;
- Statistics and Probability;
- Physics - Physics and Society
- 23 pages, 16 figures