Topological Evolution of Surface Transportation Networks
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Vol. 33, pp. 211-223, 2009
13 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2011 Last revised: 22 Jan 2011
Date Written: December 18, 2007
This study explores the topological evolution of surface transportation networks, using empirical evidence and a simulation model validated on that data. Evolution is an iterative process of interaction, investment, and disinvestment. The temporal change of topological attributes for the network is also evaluated using measures of connectivity, density, heterogeneity, concentration, and connection patterns. The simulation model is validated using historical data from the Indiana interurban network. Statistical analyses suggest that the simulation model performs well in predicting the sequence of link abandonment in the interurban network as well as the temporal change of topological attributes. The simulation model is then applied on different idealized network structures. Typical connection patterns such as rings, webs, hub-and-spokes, and cul-de-sacs emerge in the networks; the spontaneous organization of network hierarchies, the temporal change of spacing between parallel links, and the rise-and fall of places in terms of their relative importance are also observed, providing further evidence for the self-organization property of surface transportation networks.
Keywords: Surface transportation network, evolution, simulation, degeneration, topology
JEL Classification: R40, R41, E11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation