U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information|
|Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-036 Date: August 2013|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-036
Date: August 2013
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Simulation models used in transportation analysis are not well integrated among different domains (e.g., operations, safety, and environment) and for different levels of analysis (i.e., macro, meso, and micro). This project developed a prototype data hub and data schema using the Network EXplorer for Traffic Analysis (NeXTA) open-source software tool to save users time to input data and to model and display results in a common format. Researchers tested the newly developed model integration approach to address real-world transportation planning, operations, and management problems and demonstrated the approach to transportation planners at Portland Metro and Pima Association of Governments. The test applications validated the open-source data hub functionality by taking existing regional travel demand models from the respective regions, exporting the data to a dynamic traffic assignment model for mesoscopic analysis, exporting to a signal timing optimization tool, and then exporting to a microscopic simulation tool for detailed operations analysis. Preliminary results showed that the data hub prototype overcame many shortcomings associated with integrated modeling applications. The analyses took only 7 to 11 h to complete with the data hub in comparison to 35 to 52 h without the data hub, which is a total time savings of 80 percent. This report documents the findings and recommendations from the research, and it is aimed at model users, managers at modeling agencies, software developers, and researchers who are interested in advancing integrated modeling practices.
Joseph I. Peters
Director, Office of Operations
Research and Development
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|1. Report No.
|2. Government Accession No.||3 Recipient's Catalog No.|
|4. Title and Subtitle
The Effective Integration of Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation Tools
5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization Code|
Brandon L. Nevers, Khang M. Nguyen, Shaun M. Quayle, Xuesong Zhou, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Taylor
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Science Applications International Corporation
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
|11. Contract or Grant No.
|12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Operations Research and Development
|13. Type of Report and Period Covered
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
|15. Supplementary Notes
The Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) was Joe Bared, HRDO-20.
The need for model integration arises from the recognition that both transportation decisionmaking and the tools supporting it continue to increase in complexity. Many strategies that agencies evaluate require using tools that are sensitive to supply and demand at local and regional levels. This in turn requires the use and integration of analysis tools across multiple resolutions. Despite this need, many integrated modeling practices remain ad hoc and inefficient.
A concept for an open-source data hub was developed to better enable the exchange of model information across multiple resolutions. All modeling and field data are fed and stored using a unified data schema. Tools within the data hub aid users in modifying modeling network, control, and demand data to match an objective, such as calibrating to field data. Visualization tools were built into the data hub’s core visualization program, NeXTA, along with powerful links to common Web-based tools such as Google Earth®, Google Maps®, and Google Fusion Tables®. The data hub reduces barriers to interfacing models across multiple resolutions and software platforms, which ultimately saves time and reduces costs.
|17. Key Words
Integrated modeling, Travel demand forecasting, Dynamic traffic assignment, Microsimulation, Data hub, Data schema, Analysis, Modeling, Simulation
|18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classification
20. Security Classification
21. No. of Pages
|Form DOT F 1700.7||Reproduction of completed page authorized|
|AADT||Annual average daily traffic|
|ADOT||Arizona Department of Transportation|
|AMS||Analysis, modeling, and simulation|
|APC||Automated passenger counting|
|AVL||Automated vehicle location|
|DBMS||Database management system|
|DTA||Dynamic traffic assignment|
|DynaSmart||Dynamic Network Assignment-Simulation Model for Advanced Road Telematics|
|DynusT||Dynamic Urban Systems for Transportation|
|ESRI®||Economical and Social Research Institute|
|GIS||Geographic information system|
|GTFS||General Transit Feed Specification|
|HCM||Highway Capacity Manual|
|HPMS||Highway Performance Monitoring System|
|ITS||Intelligent transportation system|
|MOE||Measure of effectiveness|
|MPO||Metropolitan planning organization|
|MOVES||Motor vehicle emissions simulator|
|NAD83||North American Datum|
|NeXTA||Network EXplorer for Traffic Analysis|
|ODME||Origin-destination matrix estimation|
|PAG||Pima Association of Governments|
|QEM||Quick estimation method|
|TAZ||Transportation analysis zone|
|TDM||Travel demand model|
|.tnp||Transportation network project|
|UTDF||Universal traffic data format|
|UTM||Universal transverse Mercator|
|VMS||Variable message sign.|
|WGS84||Word Geodetic System|
|XML||Extensible Markup Language|