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May 09 , 2010

Fundamentals of Traffic Simulation


The increasing power of computer technologies, the evolution of software en- neering and the advent of the intelligent transport systems has prompted traf c simulation to become one of the most used approaches for traf c analysis in s- port of the design and evaluation of traf c systems. The ability of traf c simulation to emulate the time variability of traf c phenomena makes it a unique tool for capturing the complexity of traf c systems. In recent years, traf c simulation – and namely microscopic traf c simulation – has moved from the academic to the professional world. A wide variety of traf- c simulation software is currently available on the market and it is utilized by thousands of users, consultants, researchers and public agencies. Microscopic traf c simulation based on the emulation of traf c ows from the dynamics of individual vehicles is becoming one the most attractive approaches. However, traf c simulation still lacks a uni ed treatment. Dozens of papers on theory and applications are published in scienti c journals every year. A search of simulation-related papers and workshops through the proceedings of the last annual TRB meetings would support this assertion, as would a review of the minutes from speci cally dedicated meetings such as the International Symposiums on Traf c Simulation (Yokohama, 2002; Lausanne, 2006; Brisbane, 2008) or the International Workshops on Traf c Modeling and Simulation (Tucson, 2001; Barcelona, 2003; Sedona, 2005; Graz 2008). Yet, the only comprehensive treatment of the subject to be found so far is in the user’s manuals of various software products.
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