PhD Defense Jaap Storm
Jaap Storm will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Stochastic traffic flow models. Asymptotic analysis, stability and applications' on February 2nd 2021.
Jaap's promotors are Michel Mandjes, Sandjai Bhulai and Wouter Kager.
The PhD defense will start at 13.45 hrs in the Aula of VU University (De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam).
As from November 2020 Jaap has joined Eindhoven University of Technology as a postdoc researcher. At TU/e he will continue his research on traffic.
The thesis mainly deals with the introduction and analysis of stochastic traffic flow models. Traffic dynamics are often described using physical laws. However, besides these laws, traffic flow is also significantly influenced by a wide range of microscopic (and therefore uncontrollable) variables, like, for instance, the weather, driver behavior and preferences, differences between vehicles, and perturbation in the road. As is the consensus in the literature, these variables should be modelled as random variables, and the resulting stochastic model is necessary to obtain results that capture the stochastic nature of traffic and associated performance measures.
The contribution of the thesis mainly lies in the introduction of stochastic traffic flow models that are generalizations of the deterministic analogues, and allow for mathematical analysis. More precisely, using scaling limit techniques, the models allow for analytic expression of, e.g., the joint vehicle density distribution in a transport network or the distribution of travel times for individual vehicles. Thus, one does not have to resort to simulation methods to obtain results. Consequently, our models are suitable for the purposes of online control, and larger scale networks. The thesis also includes results on stability analysis and includes a chapter that showcases how the developed methodologies can be applied in practice. In particular, the stability results and weak limit theorems developed in this thesis can also be applied to communication systems and service centers, though the focus of the thesis is on road traffic applications.