Optimum Curvature Principle In Highway Routing

by Bernard E. Howard,
Z. Bramnick,
Jocelyn F. B. Shaw,

Serial Information: Journal of the Highway Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 1, Pg. 61-82

Document Type: Journal Paper


The problem of locating a highway between two given points is considered, so as to optimize a given criterion of merit. The calculus of variations is used to derive the Optimum Curvature Principle: the curvature of an optimum route at each point is equal to the percentage rate-of-change of the criterion function perpendicular to the route. The OCP is explained and described geometrically, illustrated by example, and compared to existing techniques. Practical aspects of its application are discussed, and areas for future research are indicated. Suggested areas of application include vertical alinement, horizontal alinement, minimize right-of-way cost, or cut-and-fill, or construction-plus-user cost, or cost/benefit ratio, or whatever criterion is selected.

Subject Headings: Curvature | Highways and roads | Routing (transportation) | Construction costs | Geometrics | Benefit cost ratios | Infrastructure construction

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