Technical Papers
Jun 15, 2012

Integrating GIS and Microscopic Traffic Simulation to Analyze Impacts of Transportation Infrastructure Construction

Publication: Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Volume 26, Issue 4

Abstract

Infrastructure rehabilitation is critical to assuring the proper functioning of a nation’s transportation infrastructure. While the goal of rehabilitation is typically to restore or improve the performance of the transportation system, the construction activity itself disrupts traffic and worsens the already-congested transportation network with unsafe work zones. Traffic simulation models are becoming widely used in evaluating such disruption in a controlled environment without physical implementation. Though rapid increase in computer processing power has made microscopic simulation feasible, developing valid models is still a tedious and time-consuming task that is prone to errors. This paper presents a study to automate development of microscopic traffic simulation models in a large-scale network by integrating the geographic information system (GIS) and microscopic traffic simulation. This study adopted an integration approach and developed a framework to combine GIS macro- and microscopic models. The developed framework was implemented in GIS to integrate a transportation GIS system (TransCAD) and microscopic traffic modeling system (transportation analysis simulation systems, TRANSIMS). GIS tools for data conversion and visualization were developed using geographic information system developer’s kit (GISDK). The system was tested in the Southeast Michigan area to evaluate traffic impacts from the I-75/I-96 Ambassador Bridge Gateway Maintenance Project. The major contribution of this study from the practitioners’ perspective is the grouping of GIS tools that automate data conversion and processing, visualize model results, and compare simulation results with field observations in informational ways, thereby assisting in model development, calibration and validation, and results analysis. This study concluded that integration provided an efficient approach in developing valid microscopic traffic simulation models. These user-friendly computer tools directly benefit transportation agencies that have developed regional models in GIS and are transitioning to microscopic modeling.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for funding this study through FHWA Contract No. DTFH61-08-C-00019. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Purdue University, Western Michigan University, or FHWA.

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Go to Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Volume 26Issue 4July 2012
Pages: 478 - 487

History

Received: Dec 17, 2010
Accepted: May 19, 2011
Published online: Jun 15, 2012
Published in print: Jul 1, 2012

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Authors

Affiliations

Hubo Cai, Ph.D., M.ASCE [email protected]
P.E.
Assistant Professor, Division of Construction Engineering and Management, School of Civil Engineering, Purdue Univ., 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (corresponding author). E-mail: [email protected]
Jun-Seok Oh, Ph.D. [email protected]
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil and Construction Engineering, Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5316. E-mail: [email protected]
C. Y. David Yang, Ph.D. [email protected]
Highway Research Engineer, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, FHWA, U.S. DOT, 6300 Georgetown Pike, HRDO-20, McLean, VA 22101. E-mail: [email protected]

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