Traffic Simulation and Evacuation Planning
OverviewThe Transportation Analysis and Simulation System (TRANSIMS) is a set of travel modeling procedures designed to meet state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations´ need for more accurate and more sensitive travel forecasts for transportation planning.
TRANSIMS builds synthetic populations based on census and survey data; estimates activities for all individuals and households; plans multimodal trips satisfying those activities; assigns specific routes to these trips; and creates a microsimulation of all pedestrians, vehicles, and transit vehicles over the entire transportation system, resulting in extremely detailed traffic data in a given study area. TRANSIMS outputs detailed data on the movement of each traveler on a second-by-second basis and generates detailed aggregate information, such as congestion indicators, queue lengths, screen line counts, and much more. Such information is increasingly important for investment decisions and as the basis for setting government policy. Because TRANSIMS simulates and tracks travel by individuals, the benefits to and impacts on different geographies and travel markets can be evaluated as well. TRANSIMS also has the capability to evaluate highly congested scenarios and operational changes on highways and transit systems. Additional detail on the background and currect development activities related to TRANSIMS can be found at the open source project, Sourceforge.net
Current TRACC ApplicationsTRACC is using the TRANSIMS software for a number of projects, including a study of emergency evacuation scenarios for the Chicago Business District. TRACC´s main goal for TRANSIMS is to provide access to the rather complicated application as an integrated package, including
- A high-performance computing platform that can run TRANSIMS models much more efficiently than on a desktop computer and minimize the load on local desktop machines;
- Stable versions of TRANSIMS on TRACCs high-performance cluster platform, built with special high-performance compilers (PathScale, Intel) and tested thoroughly before deployment;
- Data storage for both intermediate files and final results, including the reliability of TRACC's advanced hardware such as the 180-terabytes high-speed RAID arrays, multiple dedicated file servers, and backup capabilities of the 160-terabyte tape robot; and
- High-speed remote access network infrastructure with universities and research centers around the globe.
- Development of TRANSIMS training materials and courses to support new users, and providing the ability to start projects quickly and efficiently.
- Participation in the open-source project, to improve the use of TRANSIMS on high-performance computing platforms and modern server and desktop machine architectures.
- Parallelization of TRANSIMS components to make use of multicore desktop machines, servers, and Linux clusters. Development of a message passing interface to allow clusters of machines to work on single applications, there by reducing some of the TRANSIMS tools execution time.
- Development of advanced visualization techniques for TRANSIMS applications, in collaboration with the National Center of Computing Applications.
- Evaluation of special visualization capabilities of the TRACC Collaboratory.