Assessing Software Packages

Aerial photograph of road

A critical review of Austroads Report AP-R621-20

Revised version published as Austroads Report AP-R647-21 “Management of Traffic Modelling Processes and Applications”

Diverse capabilities of software packages

Most software packages listed in the Austroads report model categorisation table have capabilities for modelling intersections and networks, use a mixture of analytical and simulation modelling techniques, and involve macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic levels of detail. Therefore, the relationship between model categories and software packages is a complicated one. Forcing groups of software packages into boxes in an inconsistent model category scheme creates misleading impressions.

Assessment of software packages

It is recommended that the listing of software packages is removed from the table of model categorisation. A separate table such as the one shown below could be prepared for the assessment of applicable model categories and key model features applying to individual software packages. This would help with the selection of software packages for the specific purposes of traffic and transport modelling projects. Consultation with software developers is recommended in developing such a table. Such an assessment table should be updated regularly as the modelling capabilities of the software packages extend continually.

Software

SIDRA

Software X

Software Y

Model Categories

Model Type
(area and network size)

Strategic Transport Model

x

Large Area Traffic Model

✓ [1]

Intersection and Small Area Traffic Model

Model Level of Detail

Macroscopic

x

Mesoscopic

Microscopic

Modelling Technique

Simulation

✓ [2]

Analytical

Key Model Features

Road Geometry

Lane based

Link / Lane Group based

x

Approach based

x

Vehicle Paths

Acceleration - deceleration

Fuel, emissions, operating cost

Four-mode elemental

✓ [3]

Three-mode elemental

x [3]

Pedestrians

Signalised crossings

Unsignalised crossings

Traffic Control

Signals

Roundabouts

Give-way or stop sign control

Uninterrupted flows

Capacity Model

(Capability to estimate key model parameters)

Saturation flow (Signals)

Follow-up headway and
Critical gap (Roundabouts)

Follow-up headway and
Critical gap (Sign control)

Network Model

(Link-based and lane-based models)

Signal platoons

Capacity constraint

Queue spillback (exit blockage)

Midblock lane changes

Midblock inflow and outflow

Network signal timing

Demand Modelling

Peak Flow Factor

Variable demand modelling

x [4]

Traffic Demand Estimation

Traffic assignment

x [4]

OD matrix estimation

x [4]

  1. Up to 50 intersections.
  2. Includes signal platoon simulation (second-by-second lane-based movement of platoons) as a mesoscopic simulation feature.
  3. Four-mode elemental vs three-mode elemental model of drive cycles.
  4. Under development
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