Analysis of traffic flow by the finite element method

D. E. Beskos, P. G. Michalopoulos, J. K. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A finite elernent methodology is developed for the numerical solution of traffic flow problems encountered in arterial streets. The simple continuum traffic flow model consisting of the equation of continuity and an equilibrium flow-density relationship is adopted. A Galerkin type finite element method is used to formulate the problem in discrete form and the solution is obtained by a step-by-step time integration in conjunction with the Newton-Raphson method. The proposed finite element methodology, which is of the shock capturing type, is applied to flow traffic problems. Two numerical examples illustrate the method and demonstrate its advantages over other analytical or numerical techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this study was provided by NSF (Project No. CEE-8210189).


  • finite element method
  • mathematical models
  • traffic flow analysis


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