A dynamic, entropy minimizing, equilibrium-oriented approach to transportation planning

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Development is a difficult goal because it represents the least probable state. Traditionally, the gravity model has been used to describe future spatial organization because as an entropy maximizing approach, it provides the only unbiased situation which can be assumed. While the maximum entropy solution to a problem is the most natural solution, it is not the most desirable solution. In summary, what we have today is a case of transportation engineers trying to minimize entropy through the use of such tactical ploys as freeway control (minimizing entropy in transportation operation) while transportation planners are locating new transportation facilities according to entropy maximizing criteria at the strategic level. This study introduces the concept of entropy to transportation systems and stresses on the entropy minimizing approach to transportation planning through the use of mathematical models and optimization techniques. This study also emphasizes the dynamic nature of land use and transportation interaction in the system, especially the notions of feedback, equilibrium and steady state performance.