Complex traffic flow that allows as well as hampers lane-changing intrinsically contains social-dilemma structures

Yoshiro Iwamura, Jun Tanimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate an interesting question as to whether or not social dilemma structures can be found in a realistic traffic flow reproduced by a model, we built a new microscopic model in which an intentional driver may try lane-changing to go in front of other vehicles and may hamper others' lane-changes. Our model consists of twofold parts; cellular automaton emulating a real traffic flow and evolutionary game theory to implement a driver's decision making-process. Numerical results reveal that a social dilemma like the multi-player chicken game or prisoner's dilemma game emerges depending on the traffic phase. This finding implies that a social dilemma, which has been investigated by applied mathematics so far, hides behind a traffic flow, which has been explored by fluid dynamics. Highlight - Complex system of traffic flow with consideration of driver's decision making process is concerned. - A new model dovetailing cellular automaton with game theory is established. - Statistical result from numerical simulations reveals a social dilemma structure underlying traffic flow. - The social dilemma is triggered by a driver's egocentric actions of lane-changing and hampering other's lane-change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023408
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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