Microsimulation of freeway ramp merging processes under congested traffic conditions

Majid Sarvi, Masao Kuwahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a microsimulation program developed to study freeway ramp merging phenomena under congested traffic conditions. The results of extensive macroscopic and microscopic studies are used to establish a model for the behavior of merging drivers. A theoretical framework for modeling the ramp and freeway lag driver acceleration-deceleration behavior guided the model development. This methodology uses the stimuli-response psychophysical concept as a fundamental rule and is formulated as a modified form of the conventional car-following models. Data collected at the two merging points are used to calibrate the hypothesized ramp and freeway lag vehicle acceleration models. Drawing on this behavioral model, the Freeway Merging Capacity Simulation Program (FMCSP) is developed to simulate actual traffic conditions. This model evaluates the capacity of a merging section for a given geometric design and flow condition. Validation of FMCSP is performed using the observed flow, vehicle trajectories, and lane-changing maneuvers. The simulation model is applied to investigate a variety of merging strategies. The results indicated that the FMCSP is capable of simulating the actual traffic conditions of congested freeway ramp merging sections and will aid in the development of traffic management strategies for complex freeway ramp merging areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-479
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sep
Externally publishedYes


  • Congested traffic flow
  • Driving behavior
  • Freeway ramp merging
  • Microsimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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