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The Dynamics of Iterated Transportation Simulations


  • Kai Nagel
  • Marcus Rickert
  • Patrice M. Simon
  • Martin Pieck


Iterating between a router and a traffic micro-simulation is an increasibly accepted method for doing traffic assignment. This paper, after pointing out that the analytical theory of simulation-based assignment to-date is insufficient for some practical cases, presents results of simulation studies from a real world study. Specifically, we look into the issues of uniqueness, variability, and robustness and validation. Regarding uniqueness, despite some cautionary notes from a theoretical point of view, we find no indication of ``meta-stable'' states for the iterations. Variability however is considerable. By variability we mean the variation of the simulation of a given plan set by just changing the random seed. We show then results from three different micro-simulations under the same iteration scenario in order to test for the robustness of the results under different implementations. We find the results encouraging, also when comparing to reality and with a traditional assignment result.

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  • Kai Nagel & Marcus Rickert & Patrice M. Simon & Martin Pieck, 2000. "The Dynamics of Iterated Transportation Simulations," Working Papers 00-02-012, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-02-012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-1105, December.
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    Dynamic traffic assignment (DTA); traffic micro-simulation; TRANSIMS; large-scale simulations; urban planning.;

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