InterJournal Complex Systems, 1906
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [1906]
Submission Date: 2006
Traffic flow in a spatial network model
Author(s): Michael Gastner

Subject(s): CX.18



A quantity of practical importance in the design of an infrastructure network is the amount of traffic along different parts in the network. Traffic patterns primarily depend on the users' preference for short paths through the network and spatial constraints for building the necessary connections. Here we study the traffic distribution in a network model which takes both of these considerations into account. Assuming users always travel along the shortest path available, the appropriate measure for traffic flow along the links is a generalization of the usual concept of "edge betweenness". We find that for networks with a minimal total construction cost, a small number of connections must handle a disproportionate amount of traffic. However, the introduction of even very few additional links greatly reduces the maximal traffic along any of the links in the network.

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