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  #1  
Old 03-03-2009
DavidStun
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Default Modeling Traffic Flow

I have used FlexSim before; however, this was some time ago. Would this software be able to model traffic flow - i.e. traffic leaving city parking lots after work? Would the network feature be able to facilitate this?

Thanks!

-David
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2009
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Anthony Johnson Anthony Johnson is offline
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While the Flexsim network node system is a pretty sophisticated mechanism for creating transport networks, it was not designed to simulate road system type traffic patterns in a realistic way. You can use Flexsim's network path system to simulate traffic behavior in a simplistic way (you can use the traffic control object to modify speeds as areas become congested), but simulating detailed traffic systems would involve complex algorithms for lane changing, as well as acceleration and deceleration that is proximity-dependent. These can have significant impacts on the overall behavior of the system, and Flexsim's network node system doesn't take these things into account.

At the same time, I see potential for future development in relation to traffic simulation. In Flexsim CT, simulating the traffic patterns properly is in some cases a priority issue, and I wish Flexsim had mechanisms for doing it better. There are actually a lot of open source solutions available, such as SUMO, which are backed by a lot of research into how traffic systems actually work. I've toyed with the idea of taking something like SUMO and integrating it into Flexsim via a DLL. Then you can get the advanced traffic simulation logic of SUMO, with the usability, 3D capability, and other non-traffic related simulation features of Flexsim (it seems many of these open source simulation pieces leave much to be desired regarding ease in building a simulation model. In SUMO it's all done through text configuration files). But I haven't had any time lately for looking into this option further, so "to be continued...".

I should also include a consulting sales pitch here. Obviously, project work here at Flexsim has a way of pushing things to the top of the development priority list, so if this is a feature that you feel is essential to the success of your project, and you are willing to fund its development, then we'd be glad to work with you on a strategy for simulating a traffic system.

I know I've broken every sales rule here, such as referring you to a potentially competitive product, and telling you that we can't really do exactly what you're looking for, but hey, I'm a developer. I tell it like it is. :-)
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Old 03-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Johnson View Post
I know I've broken every sales rule here, such as referring you to a potentially competitive product, and telling you that we can't really do exactly what you're looking for, but hey, I'm a developer. I tell it like it is. :-)
Yes you have. Now go to your room.

At some point we may develop a library that will model traffic efficiently. We are always looking for a project that might get this going.
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