Simulating Transport for Realistic Engineering Education and Training


Understanding and predicting travel demand and travel patterns is one of the most importantbut also most challenging tasks of transportengineers, planners, and geographers. Travelforecasting models are complex and nearly impossible to use in the classroom. The Internet provides a more attractivefrontier for computer simulation in transporteducation. The University of Minnesota has previously developed a set of web-based simulation modulesfor use in the classroom to improve instructionfor the Introduction to Transport Engineeringcourse. These open source, Java-based, platform-independent learning modules have been deployed for testing and are in use in over a dozen transport classes across the United States and Australia and are publicly available at ( This research will systematize, update, extend, and test in the classroom this new educational platform.


Professor David Levinson, Dr Mohsen Ramezani Ghalenoei

Research Location

Civil Engineering

Program Type



In STREET, one module, ADAM (Agent-based Demand and Assignment Model) simulates travel patterns on a modally-independent street network based on microscopic decision- making by each traveler. It uses a stylized network, which is therefore smaller (but computationally faster) than realistic urban networks. The platform should be extended in several directions. One directions is to:    Expand the demand model with public transit lines (a series of nodes and links with some parameters for headway, etc.) using a hypernetworks approach, following the standard GTFS specification for transit network coding;     Implement a realistic set of preferences for travelers regarding weights associated with alternative transport technologies, so that mode share emerges from the route choices of individual travelers;     Incorporate land use parameters more explicitly for trip generation and attraction;     Compute network measures as described. By adding/deleting nodes or links, the network structure implicitly changes, so do network measures and observed travel behavior.

Additional Information

  • Use of research technique / methodology / technology
  • Potential topics of interest for the research opportunity
  • Current PHD and/or Masters topics
  • Eligibility criteria / candidate profile
  • Scholarship(s)  /  funding available

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transport, Transportation, networks, GIS, Statistics, Geography, Econometrics, economics, spatial analysis, Education, programming, pedagogy

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2229

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