Vulnerability analysis for large-scale and congested road networks with demand uncertainty

Bi Yu Chen, Hing Keung William Lam, Agachai Sumalee, Qingquan Li, Zhi Chun Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the vulnerability of congested road networks, the commonly used full network scan approach is to evaluate all possible scenarios of link closure using a form of traffic assignment. This approach can be computationally burdensome and may not be viable for identifying the most critical links in large-scale networks. In this study, an " impact area" vulnerability analysis approach is proposed to evaluate the consequences of a link closure within its impact area instead of the whole network. The proposed approach can significantly reduce the search space for determining the most critical links in large-scale networks. In addition, a new vulnerability index is introduced to examine properly the consequences of a link closure. The effects of demand uncertainty and heterogeneous travellers' risk-taking behaviour are explicitly considered. Numerical results for two different road networks show that in practice the proposed approach is more efficient than traditional full scan approach for identifying the same set of critical links. Numerical results also demonstrate that both stochastic demand and travellers' risk-taking behaviour have significant impacts on network vulnerability analysis, especially under high network congestion and large demand variations. Ignoring their impacts can underestimate the consequences of link closures and misidentify the most critical links.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-516
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Large-scale and congested road network
  • Reliability-based traffic assignment
  • Vulnerability analysis
  • Vulnerability index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Vulnerability analysis for large-scale and congested road networks with demand uncertainty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this