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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
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Analysis Modeling and Simulation (AMS)


Individual Project Information


There currently are three projects underway in the AMS research collaboration:


Each project is spearheaded by a research team in FHWA’s Office of Operations Research and Development.

Effective Integration of Analysis Modeling and Simulation Tools

The Effective Integration of Analysis Modeling and Simulation Tools project will define a model integration concept of operations and requirements that will enable harmonious information exchange and data transferability between models of various domains and scale. New methods and tools will be validated through a proof of concept and prototype demonstrations.

Analysis of multimodal and multiresolution transportation networks often requires linking or integrating different types of analysis and simulation tools, primarily due to differences in domain (travel demand, deterministic, or dynamic models that include different travel modes) and differences in scale, or network size.

Also, the outputs from different simulation models typically do not match; for example, determining corridor and/or regional-level operational strategies (such as corridor signal timing and regional coordination) for system performance, safety, and greenhouse gas reduction. Another example is connecting a macrotravel demand model to a mesoscopic dynamic traffic assignment model.

Project researchers are developing a uniform data schema that will serve multiresolution modeling for different domains (macroscopic to microscopic) and different scales, including small and large networks. This common data could be stored on a personal computer and on the Web, and results can be displayed using common measures and visualization tools, enabling data users to execute simulation models across different software providers. The uniform data schema also would enable software providers to develop interfaces to translate their data to this common schema (format and content). The project includes the development of a concept of operations and the selection and analysis of two case studies using the new uniform schema.

For more information, download the fact sheet.

National Virtual Data Access Framework

The National Virtual Data Access Framework project will demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of a virtual data access that can support regional and local multimodal and multiobjective transportation analyses. With a virtual data access framework, States and localities will be able to integrate programs and processes, which are currently disconnected, and make more efficient decisions regarding the enhancement and operation of the transportation infrastructure.

The national virtual data project will be able to develop a framework for combining transportation data from multiple sources to support regional decisionmaking and analyses related to planning for operations. With involvement from transportation agency partners, researchers will be able to apply the framework in a proof-of-concept test for a specific application area using real-world data. The real-world data then will be used in a regional transportation analysis or to develop regional performance measures.

The key deliverables will be a state-of-the-practice report, a data sharing framework, and a proof-of-concept test. The framework will likely be used by State and local agencies to enable better sharing of operations-related data for use in regional transportation decisionmaking. Stakeholder engagement will be incorporated in all phases of the project and stakeholder outreach workshops will be used at the end of the project.

Analysis of Network and Nonnetwork Impacts upon Traveler Choice: Improve Modeling Accuracy for Better Transportation Decisionmaking

The capability of existing transportation analysis tools to accurately model and simulate traveler choices is often limited due to the lack of adequate methodologies and reliable data about travelers and the reasons for their travel choices. To build a better model, however, it is critical to advance an understanding of choices made by travelers under various circumstances and the impact of these choices on the transportation system. This study will facilitate implementation of a balanced, crosscutting effort to better understand the topic of traveler choice. The study builds on current activities related to modeling and analysis.

Although advances in technology have made it easier to collect traveler choice data, it is still difficult to capture attitudes, motivations, influences, and the context within which choices are made. Primary objectives of this project are to advance our understanding of:

  • Traveler choices affected by various factors in network and non-network conditions.
  • The impact of traveler choices on transportation system operations; for example, recurrent and nonrecurrent congestion.
  • The impact of traveler choices on transportation system safety; for example, a mode switch during inclement weather.
  • Design effective interventions to improve system performance; for example, Active Transportation and Demand Management strategies.


At the conclusion of this work, a suite of traveler choice data and adjustment factors will be available to incorporate and enhance existing transportation analysis tools. This project also is likely to serve as a leading example, encouraging the transportation community, especially States and local agencies, to develop and use national and regional traveler choice data and adjustment factors to improve their transportation models and forecasts.

Four key deliverables will be generated from this study:

  1. A synthesis of current research and practices to be published as an independent report.
  2. A final report that will capture the effort of all activities and future research direction.
  3. An inventory of traveler choice datasets collected.
  4. Proven procedures to incorporate traveler choice adjustment factors in a selected number of transportation analysis tools.


Expected project benefits include accurate traveler choice data that realistically emulates people’s decisions regarding route selection, mode choice, and time of departure. This data is likely to improve forecasts for various transportation applications. At the conclusion of the study, a suite of traveler choice data and adjustment factors is expected to be available to incorporate and enhance existing transportation analysis tools.


Overview | Projects | Publications | Contacts


Office of Operations R&D Links

» Office of Operations R&D
» Operations R&D Laboratory
» Operations R&D Projects
» Operations R&D Experts
» Operations R&D Publications
» Operations Topics


Other Operations Links

» FHWA's Office of Operations
» Research and Innovative Technology Administration's Intelligent Transportation Systems Connected Vehicle Research
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