Title page for ETD etd-09102008-135101

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gao, Yu
URN etd-09102008-135101
Title Calibration and Comparison of the VISSIM and INTEGRATION Microscopic Traffic Simulation Models
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rakha, Hesham Ahmed Committee Chair
Abbas, Montasir M. Committee Member
Trani, Antonio A. Committee Member
  • Microscopic Traffic Simulation
  • Car-following Models
  • Measurements of Effectiveness
Date of Defense 2008-09-05
Availability unrestricted
Microscopic traffic simulation software have gained significant popularity and are widely used both in industry and research mainly because of the ability of these tools to reflect the dynamic nature of the transportation system in a stochastic fashion. To better utilize these software, it is necessary to understand the underlying logic and differences between them. A Car-following model is the core of every microscopic traffic simulation software. In the context of this research, the thesis develops procedures for calibrating the steady-state car-following models in a number of well known microscopic traffic simulation software including: CORSIM, AIMSUN, VISSIM, PARAMICS and INTEGRATION and then compares the VISSIM and INTEGRATION software for the modeling of traffic signalized approaches.

The thesis presents two papers. The first paper develops procedures for calibrating the steady-state component of various car-following models using macroscopic loop detector data. The calibration procedures are developed for a number of commercially available microscopic traffic simulation software, including: CORSIM, AIMSUN2, VISSIM, Paramics, and INTEGRATION. The procedures are then applied to a sample dataset for illustration purposes. The paper then compares the various steady-state car-following formulations and concludes that the Gipps and Van Aerde steady-state car-following models provide the highest level of flexibility in capturing different driver and roadway characteristics. However, the Van Aerde model, unlike the Gipps model, is a single-regime model and thus is easier to calibrate given that it does not require the segmentation of data into two regimes. The paper finally proposes that the car-following parameters within traffic simulation software be link-specific as opposed to the current practice of coding network-wide parameters. The use of link-specific parameters will offer the opportunity to capture unique roadway characteristics and reflect roadway capacity differences across different roadways.

Second, the study compares the logic used in both the VISSIM and INTEGRATION software, applies the software to some simple networks to highlight some of the differences/similarities in modeling traffic, and compares the various measures of effectiveness derived from the models. The study demonstrates that both the VISSIM and INTEGRATION software incorporate a psycho-physical car-following model which accounts for vehicle acceleration constraints. The INTEGRATION software, however uses a physical vehicle dynamics model while the VISSIM software requires the user to input a vehicle-specific speed-acceleration kinematics model. The use of a vehicle dynamics model has the advantage of allowing the model to account for the impact of roadway grades, pavement surface type, pavement surface condition, and type of vehicle tires on vehicle acceleration behavior. Both models capture a driver’s willingness to run a yellow light if conditions warrant it. The VISSIM software incorporates a statistical stop/go probability model while current development of the INTEGRATION software includes a behavioral model as opposed to a statistical model for modeling driver stop/go decisions. Both software capture the loss in capacity associated with queue discharge using acceleration constraints. The losses produced by the INTEGRATION model are more consistent with field data (7% reduction in capacity). Both software demonstrate that the capacity loss is recovered as vehicles move downstream of the capacity bottleneck. With regards to fuel consumption and emission estimation the INTEGRATION software, unlike the VISSIM software, incorporates a microscopic model that captures transient vehicle effects on fuel consumption and emission rates.

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