- We process the same data over and over again rather than just reading it once;
- The way the model works (where the behaviour of each car depends on the road conditions immediately in front and behind) is a surprisingly good analogy for much more complicated computations such as weather modelling which we will encounter later on.
The traffic modelIn this example we only talk about a straight, one-way road without any intersections. We think of the road as being divided into a number of sections or cells, each of which either contains a car (is occupied) or is empty (unoccupied). The way a car behaves is very simple: if the cell in front is occupied then it cannot move and remains where it is; if the cell in front is unoccupied then it moves forward. A complete sweep of the road, where we consider every car once, is called an iteration; each iteration, a car can only move once. Having updated the entire road, we proceed to the next iteration and check again which cars can move and which cars stand still.If you want, you can think of each cell representing about 5 metres of road and each iteration representing around half a second of elapsed time.Despite being such a simple simulation, it represents some of the basic features of real traffic flow quite well. We will talk you through some examples in the next few videos.
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