Modeling Transportation Alternatives

Modeling Transportation Alternatives

Principal Investigator: Dr. Roelof Boumans (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources)

Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

This project develops an “outreach model” that isolates and simplifies the most essential dynamics of the combined UrbanSim and TRANSIMS model in a way that is more transparent and that facilitates outreach to stakeholders. The model will convey to stakeholders how transportation issues relate to the other major issues with which they are interdependent including land use, energy, economics, environment and quality of life. Through a web interface, stakeholders will be able to run their own simplified versions of the model under different scenarios and vary parameters in a way that makes the key dynamics and assumptions of the model clear and easy to understand. If there is general convergence between the results of both, this may be a good indication of the overall robustness of both approaches. If there is extreme difference in the results, an analysis of the sources of these differences may help us better understand some of the sensitivities and assumptions of both model approaches.

Development of the outreach model will consist of the following tasks:

  • Regular stakeholder workshops to verify model design and components, to review preliminary results, and to design and review scenarios.
  • Intensive model development activities between workshops. This would include model coding, calibration, and testing, as well as development of user interfaces. Existing more complex models (i.e. URBANSIM) would be used for cross-calibration and testing.
  • Problem-based (atelier) courses structured around the project and involving students from many departments on campus.
  • A sophisticated, interactive web site that will connect stakeholders during project development and serve as the major portal for delivery of the Integrated Modeling Package after completion.

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