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Chabini, Ismail, and Amedeo R. Odoni, 1.225J Transportation Flow Systems, Fall 2002. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Transportation Flow Systems

Fall 2002

Aircraft in a queue.
Aircraft in a queue. (Image is taken from NASA's Web site:

Course Highlights

This course site features lecture notes and readings, along with other materials used by students in the course. 

Course Description

Design, operation, and management of traffic flows over complex transportation networks are the foci of this course. It covers two major topics: traffic flow modeling and traffic flow operations. Sub-topics include deterministic and probabilistic models, elements of queuing theory, and traffic assignment. Concepts are illustrated through various applications and case studies. This is a half-term subject offered during the second half of the semester.

Technical Requirements

Microsoft® Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls files found on this course site. Free Microsoft® Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls files.



Design, operation, and management of traffic flows over complex transportation networks. Covers two major topics: traffic flow modeling and traffic flow operations. Includes deterministic and probabilistic models, elements of queueing theory, and traffic assignment. Concepts and methods are illustrated through various applications and examples.


You are responsible for completing three and a half problem sets and one quiz. Unless otherwise instructed, the writing of the assignments is required to be individual.


Problem Sets: 70% (you may use a one time 48-hour extension)
Quiz: 30%


There is no textbook that completely covers the material of the subject. Additional materials will be given out in class.

The Five Twos in 1.225

  • Two type of flows: Air and Road
  • Two types of problems: Modeling and Operation Problems
  • Two levels of analyses: Component Level and Network Level
  • Two time-scale of analyses: Static vs. Dynamic
  • Two type of approaches/tools: Analytical and Simulation-based

Academic Honesty

The MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering adheres to the strictest standards of academic honesty. An important aspect of achieving these standards is to be sure that students are aware of expectations of faculty as regards academic honesty. This statement is an attempt to clarify the faculty's expectations in this subject.


Assignments performed by students for submission have a dual purpose. They are intended as educational devices, including the teaching of skills such as working in teams. They are also evaluation tools for the faculty in judging the quality of performance of individual students. Our policies are intended to balance these two purposes and, unless otherwise stated, apply to all assignments.

Students currently taking this class can work together to conceptualize general approaches to assignments. However, unless otherwise specified for a particular assignment, the work you submit should be done completely on your own. This includes text, numerical calculations, mathematical derivations, diagrams, graphs, computer programs and output, references, and any written source you use in your submission. It is inappropriate to use assignments submitted in previous years as a source.


All work on a quiz should be performed only by you.

If you have any questions about how these policies relate to a specific situation, you should speak to Professor Chabini or Professor Odoni for clarification.


  Part I: Traffic Flow Modeling
L1 Introduction
Cumulative Plots
L2 Airport Runway Capacity
L3 Modeling Road Traffic
R1 Recitation 1
L4 Network Model and Shortest Paths
L5 Traffic Assignment
R2 Recitation 2
L6 Introduction to Optimization
  Part II: Traffic Flow Operations
L7 Highway Control: Ramp Metering
L8 Queuing Theory
R3 Recitation 3
L9 Simulation Models
L10 Control of Isolated Signals
R4 Recitation 4
L11 Operational Problems in Traffic Systems
L12 Air Traffic Operation Problems
L13 Wrap-up Lecture
Quiz Review
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