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Project Objective

The goal of this study is to develop a research plan that will enable the interested NYSDOT staff to get a full understanding of modeling tools. This kind of expertise can be obtained by understanding

  1. Theoretical approach adopted by the developers in terms of individual traffic and transportation related models used
  2. Data requirements of each modeling tool
  3. Capabilities and limitations of each tool for real-world applications
  4. Validation and calibration requirements as well as the accuracy of the forecasts produced by each tool
Project Abstract

Like many other State Departments of Transportation, NYSDOT is constantly required to analyze highway development projects using some of the advanced modeling tools available in the market. Most of the time, modeling work is done by transportation consultants hired by NYSDOT. However, it is clear that a complete and adequate understanding each potential modeling tool such as Paramics, VIS SUM, IDAS, CORSIM, MITSIM, TRANSIMS, INTEGRATION, DYNASMART, ATSIM.

Task Descriptions

We propose a three-step approach to achieve the goals presented above.

Step 1: Develop a team of developers that are intimately involved in the development of each tool. This will be a team of developers that will help us to develop a clear and transparent understanding of the selected tools.

Step 2: Develop a second team of users / evaluators that will prepare a framework for complete assessment of capabilities and limitations of each tool for real-world applications. This team will be comprised of transportation consultants, academicians, who have already used at least one of the modeling tools for real world applications.

Teams 1 and 2 will work closely to implement the assessment framework, which will heavily depend on real application examples. This will be achieved by creating several application examples of different size similar to the list shown below:

  1. Isolated Intersection
  2. Arterial Corridor
  3. Freeway Corridor
  4. Small Size Network
  5. Medium Size Network (with or without transit)
  6. Large Size Network


Each example will be implemented using the tools under consideration. A uniform documentation procedure will be developed to clearly document the modeling process followed for each case.

It is important that each tool is evaluated using uniform standards that are agreeable to all the Team members. Thus, as part of Step 2, Teams 1 and 2 with close collaboration with NYSDOT staff, will develop a list of MOE's to be used for the final evaluation of the verification, calibration and assessment for forecasting capabilities of each tool.

Step 3: Verification, calibration, and forecasting capabilities of each tool for every example network. This whole exercise will be used to understand validation and calibration requirements as well as the accuracy of the forecasts produced by each tool. This effort should be carefully documented to ensure a fair and objective comparison of each tool.



Student Involvement

This project will involve several graduate and Doctoral students in data collection, presentations, literature documentations and report preparation.

Relationship with Other Research Activities


Technology Transfer Activities

These three steps will provide a wealth of information that will be used for the training of NYSDOT staff, who want to get familiarized with these tools. However, the final presentation of our results will not be limited to a simple summary of research results but a hands-on and interactive delivery approach that will aim the maximum involvement of NYSDOT staff will be used. Benefits of the Project: New advancements in the instruction technologies such as computer based training (CBT) technology will be completed to achieve the goal.

Key Words

Training, software, transportation modeling