This is probably the closest analogy to the inexplicable backlogs that sometimes just materializes in high-volume help desks. You may perform all the organizational fine-tuning, ITIL training, Airport and Apollo 13 simulation you can dream of, but when volume gets high this stuff just happens.
From New Scientist: Traffic that grinds to a halt and then restarts for no apparent reason is one of the biggest causes of frustration for drivers. Now a team of Japanese researchers has recreated the phenomenon on a test-track for the first time. “If they had set up an experiment with robots driving in a perfect circle, flow breakdown would not have occurred. Human error is needed to cause the fluctuations in behavior”.
Watch the video below: