Design of open source framework for traffic and travel simulation

Guus Tamminga, Marc Miska, Edgar Santos, Hans Van Lint, Arturo Nakasone, Helmut Prendinger, Serge Hoogendoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


For the evaluation, design, and planning of traffic facilities and measures, traffic simulation packages are the de facto tools for consultants, policy makers, and researchers. However, the available commercial simulation packages do not always offer the desired work flow and flexibility for academic research. In many cases, researchers resort to designing and building their own dedicated models, without an intrinsic incentive (or the practical means) to make the results available in the public domain. To make matters worse, a substantial part of these efforts pertains to rebuilding basic functionality and, in many respects, reinventing the wheel. This problem not only affects the research community but adversely affects the entire traffic simulation community and frustrates the development of traffic simulation in general. For this problem to be addressed, this paper describes an open source approach, OpenTraffic, which is being developed as a collaborative effort between the Queensland University of Technology, Australia; the National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo; and the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands. The OpenTraffic simulation framework enables academies from geographic areas and disciplines within the traffic domain to work together and contribute to a specific topic of interest, ranging from travel choice behavior to car following, and from response to intelligent transportation systems to activity planning. The modular approach enables users of the software to focus on their area of interest, whereas other functional modules can be regarded as black boxes. Specific attention is paid to a standardization of data inputs and outputs for traffic simulations. Such standardization will allow the sharing of data with many existing commercial simulation packages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number2291
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this