I have this idea of "convoy elasticity" in my head. It's an attempt to describe the way that the speed of a convoy is constrained by the speed of the slowest elements in it rather than the speed of the fastest elements or even the speed of the average element

As times goes on, in a convoy with elements moving at different speeds, the tendency will be for the convoy to :
- spread out over a massive area
- abandon the stragglers. This is a recursive phenomenon since the removal of the last element just makes the 2nd to last element the new laggard
- fracture into leading edge, main body and stragglers
- force the leading edge to slow down or stop so the others can catch up
- periodically stop all elements to reconstitute itself
- force the stragglers to make massive jumps in order to maintain the integrity of the whole convoy

This: http://www.mx5vic.org.au/technical/general/elastic_band_effect.pdf article is the only thing I've found that covers the topic.

Is there a technical term or phrase for this phenomenon? Are there other works that talk about this and I'm just looking in the wrong places?
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