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Braess' paradox in a generalised traffic network

Zverovich, Vadim; Avineri, Erel

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Erel Avineri


Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Braess' paradox illustrates situations when adding a new link to a transport network might lead to an equilibrium state in which travel times of users will increase. The classical network configuration introduced by Braess in 1968 to demonstrate the paradox is of fundamental significance because Valiant and Roughgarden showed in 2006 that 'the "global" behaviour of an equilibrium flow in a large random network is similar to that in Braess' original four-node example'. Braess' paradox has been studied mainly in the context of the classical problem introduced by Braess and his colleagues, assuming a certain type of symmetry in networks. Specifically, two pairs of links in those networks are assumed to have the same volume-delay functions. The occurrence of Braess' paradox for this specific case of network symmetry was investigated by Pas and Principio in 1997. Such a symmetry is not common in real-life networks because the parameters of volume-delay functions are associated with roads physical and functional characteristics, which typically differ from one link to another. This research provides an extension of previous studies on Braess' paradox by considering arbitrary volume-delay functions, that is, symmetry properties are not assumed for any of the network's links and the occurrence of Braess' paradox is studied for a general configuration.


Zverovich, V., & Avineri, E. (2015). Braess' paradox in a generalised traffic network. Journal of Advanced Transportation, 49(1), 114-138.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 24, 2014
Online Publication Date Mar 28, 2014
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 29, 2016
Journal Journal of Advanced Transportation
Print ISSN 0197-6729
Electronic ISSN 2042-3195
Publisher Hindawi
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 1
Pages 114-138
Keywords Braess' paradox, equilibrium flow, traffic flow
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zverovich, V. and Avineri, E. (2015) Braess' paradox in a generalised traffic network. Journal of Advanced Transportation, 49 (1). pp. 114-138., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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