Einladung zum Vortrag im Kolloquium Technische Kybernetik
Traffic Jams, Pedestrian Streams, Escape Panics, and Optimal Production
Prof. Dr. Dirk Helbing
Institute for Economics and Traffic
Dresden University of Technology
Zeit: Dienstag · 04. 05. 2004 · 16:00 Uhr
Ort: Raum V 9.31 · Pfaffenwaldring 9 · Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen
Why are vehicles sometimes stopped by so-called “phantom traffic jams”,
although they all like to drive fast? What are the mechanisms behind stop-and-
go-traffic? Why are pedestrian counterstreams normally organized in lanes, while nervous crowds are “freezing by heating”? How do oscillating pedestrian streams at bottlenecks come about? Some years ago, it was believed that human behavior in pedestrian and freeway traffic is dominated by socio-psychological factors. Today, we know the self-organization principles underlying these effects and how to model them realistically. For illustrative reasons, we will compare computer simulations and video recordings of pedestrian streams in normal and panic situations, and of stop-and-go waves in vehicle traffic. We will, then, address the following questions: Why are there several different kinds of congestion, and how are they related? Why do most traffic jams occur considerably before the road capacity is reached? Can a temporary reduction of the traffic volume cause a lasting traffic jam? Under which conditions can speed limits speed up traffic? Why do self-organizing systems tend to reach an optimal state? How can overreactions to advanced traveller information be avoided, and what do they have in common with stock markets? Moreover, can the order in pedestrian crowds be increased by obstacles? Why do panicking pedestrians produce dangerous deadlocks? What is behind the faster-is-slower effect and how can it be applied to the optimization of production processes?
Dirk Helbing (*1965, www.helbing.org) is the Managing Director of the Institute for Economics and Traffic at Dresden University of Technology, where he was appointed full professor in 2000. Having studied Physics and Mathematics in Göttingen, his master thesis dealt with the nonlinear modelling and multi-agent simulation of observed self-organization phenomena in pedestrian crowds. Two years later, he finished his Ph.D. in Stuttgart on modelling social interaction processes by means of game-theoretical approaches, stochastic methods and complex systems theory, which was awarded two research prizes. After having completed his habilitation on traffic dynamics and optimization in 1996, he received a Heisenberg scholarship. Both theses were printed by international
publishers. Apart from this, Helbing has (co-)edited several proceedings of international conferences on cooperative dynamics in socio-economic and traffic systems that he (co-)organized. He has given 90 invited talks and published more than 100 papers, including several contributions to high-impact journals like Nature, Science, or Reviews of Modern Physics, which were discussed
by the public media (newspapers, radio, and TV) more than 130 times. He collaborates closely with international scientists, since he worked, for example, at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, the Xerox PARC in the Silicon Valley, and the Collegium Budapest-Institute for Advanced Study in Hungary. Thanks to various multi-partner research projects, he also maintains good cooperations with the Volkswagen AG, the Siemens AG, the DaimlerChrysler AG, and other companies.