Piecewise linear concave dynamical systems appearing in the microscopic traffic modeling
Motivated by microscopic traffic modeling, we analyze dynamical systems which have a piecewise linear concave dynamics not necessarily monotonic. We introduce a deterministic Petri net extension where edges may have negative weights. The dynamics of these Petri nets are uniquely defined and may be described by a generalized matrix with a submatrix in the standard algebra with possibly negative entries, and another submatrix in the minplus algebra. When the dynamics is additively homogeneous, a generalized additive eigenvalue is introduced, and the ergodic theory is used to define a growth rate. In the traffic example of two roads with one junction, we compute explicitly the eigenvalue and we show, by numerical simulations, that these two quantities (the additive eigenvalue and the average growth rate) are not equal, but are close to each other. With this result, we are able to extend the well-studied notion of fundamental traffic diagram (the average flow as a function of the car density on a road) to the case of roads with a junction and give a very simple analytic approximation of this diagram where four phases appear with clear traffic interpretations. Simulations show that the fundamental diagram shape obtained is also valid for systems with many junctions.