This is such a great example that I need to quote the entire thing. MeshForum wants contributions from people who have looked into this kind of thing. Monkeymagic: Traffic, Congestion and Information Flows
This is exciting from the New Scientist: apparently New roads can cause congestion. [via 3quarks daily]
Traffic should flow best in cities when only a limited number of roads lead to the centre. This counter-intuitive finding could allow planners to prevent gridlock by closing roads rather than building new ones.
Fascinatingly, the article goes on to say:
The same process of analysing the costs associated with moving across a network could help solve a long-standing problem in biology: why some natural networks are centralised like cities, whereas others are decentralised like the internet.
“Organisms such as fungi have managed to evolve a complex network in which there are centralised and decentralised pathways to move nutrients around,” Johnson says. “Now we can look at biological systems in terms of the ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ of the connections rather than in terms of the physical structures themselves,” he says.