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Traffic Flow Optimization in Diyarbakir

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Written by Adanur Nas and Kerem Muldur

Humans have been in the process of development since their existence and are continuing. They invented many tools and vehicles to ease their life, though the tools also brought some handicaps. An example of this situation is the automobile, one of the greatest inventions of humankind, which brought traffic jams with itself.

As cars increase in speed and multiply in numbers, traffic jam rates are globally increasing. The world has witnessed massive traffic jams, such as the traffic jam in China that lasted 12 days and took 62 miles in August 2010.[1] In this article, we’ll delve into traffic optimization in Diyarbakir, a rapidly developing city.

In 2023, Turkey ranked 10th in terms of time spent in traffic per capita at 34 hours, and Diyarbakir has one of the most congested traffic in Turkey with the most congested relative to the number of vehicles.[2,3]It is obvious that although Diyarbakır doesn't make it to the top 10 in terms of traffic jams in Turkey, it ranks third in terms of accidents per vehicle.

To better exemplify, we can compare the city of Gaziantep with Diyarbakir, which ranks as the 8th most congested city in Turkey in terms of traffic and has nearly four times as many vehicles as Diyarbakır, which has a similar population size (2m and 1.7m). To start, Diyarbakir doesn't experience the same level of congestion as Gaziantep and the other robust cities since the excess number of accidents in Diyarbakir stems from incorrect transportation policies and planning, vehicle defects, road deficiencies, and driver errors. Some of the problems include incorrectly inclined turns, improper roadside design, and often the lack of feasibility studies for transportation projects.[3]

Despite numerous traffic issues, the traffic policies in Diyarbakir fall short of maintaining order. When a bus stops in the wrong place instead of the station, police don’t do anything despite their proximity to the event.

In addition, roads aren’t made as large as their traffic density. This situation creates sparsely traveled and extensive roads that enable unacceptable speeds and congested roads that result in queues stretching hundreds of meters.[3]

The chip-firing game, developed in approximately 1983, is a solitary game played on a graph and has become a significant element in exploring structural combinatorics. In this game, each point on the graph contains a certain quantity of "chips" represented by its state variable. During each round, a point is chosen, and one chip is moved from that point to every point that shares an edge. It's important to note that the number of chips on any point cannot go below zero. The game concludes when no further moves or chip transfers are feasible.[5] Traffic is defined as “the vehicles that are on a road at a particular time” according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.[4]

Using a version of the chip-firing game called the sandpile model, the extent of how much traffic there is, how many vehicles are on the roads, or where there's congestion can be depicted. Furthermore, 'chips' can be used to represent the traffic at each intersection and figure out the most vehicles an intersection can handle. Adapting the rules of the chip-firing game to show how cars move from one intersection to another helps to see when traffic jams at one intersection affect others.

This method is a good starting point for figuring out how to make traffic flow better. But real traffic is complicated! Various factors can affect it. To make this method more useful, you'd need to use real-time traffic info, special computer programs, and tests to make it better at managing traffic.[6]

In conclusion, Diyarbakir has serious traffic problems as many other cities. This problem is commonly welded by policies and planning, vehicle defects, road deficiencies, driver errors, incorrectly inclined turns, improper roadside design, and the lack of feasibility studies for transportation projects. To solve this problem, we can utilize similar combinations and systems with chip-firing games that move bigger numbers in the points to smaller points and obtain the wanted condition. We can also redesign the roundabouts and road width according to the traffic density.



  1. Jennifer Geer. (2022, June 22). The World’s Worst Traffic Jam Ever Lasted 12 Days and Spanned 62 Miles. a-z animals.

  2. Gazetesi, D. (2017, February 3). Türkiye yılda 34 saatini trafikte geçiriyor. Dünya Gazetesi.

  3. Diyarbakir, Türkiye’de en fazla kazanın yaşandığı üçüncü şehir. (2023, November 9). Gazete Duvar.

  4. Traffic. (n.d.). Oxford Learner's Dictionaries | Find definitions, translations, and grammar explanations at Oxford Learner's Dictionaries.

  5. Department of Mathematics | The University of Chicago.,Haolin.pdf

  6. Treiber, M., & Kesting, A. (2012). Traffic flow dynamics: Data, models, and simulation. Springer Science & Business Media.


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