A Dynamic Approach to Multi-Agent-Based Simulation in Urban Transportation Planning

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A Dynamic Approach to Multi-Agent-Based Simulation in Urban Transportation Planning


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Public defence 2018-06-14
Time 13:00
Location B2, Niagara, Malmö University
Faculty examiner Professor Kay Axhausen, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Publication Doctoral Thesis
Title A Dynamic Approach to Multi-Agent-Based Simulation in Urban Transportation Planning
Author Hajinasab, Banafsheh
Date 2018
English abstract
Reviewing previous studies on using computational models for analyzing the effect of transport policies on transportation systems shows that agentbased models have not been used much in spite of their great potential for simulating dynamic aspects of policy instruments and travel behavior. The main reason can be the need for a lot of input data which is hard to prepare for the modeler. This has led to limited use of agent-based models in previous studies and even in those studies the scope of simulation is limited to only particular scenarios. In this thesis, I proposed a general-purpose agent-based simulation model for urban transportation that supports simulation of a wide range of policy instruments. The proposed model is designed in a way that a large part of the input data can be generated automatically using online web-services. The thesis also reports an empirical study on using our proposed generalpurpose model together with on-line travel planners in agent-based simulation for predicting the effect of different policy instruments on travel behavior. The results from our empirical study showed that our generalpurpose agent-based model predicts 72% of the real travel decisions correctly. Furthermore, the results of the simulation for various scenarios and combination of them seem to be acceptable. Finally, we found out that the use of on-line services for data collection increases the speed and flexibility of the system for defining and running new scenarios. However, the scalability of using on-line services in simulation is constrained by limitations of online service providers. The main contributions of this thesis are a general-purpose agentbased simulation model for urban transportation and a novel approach to automatically generate input data to the simulation using online travel planners and other web-services. This novel approach mitigates the challenge of agent-based simulation as a data-intensive method. This can lead to more widespread use for agent-based simulation in solving complex and realistic transportation scenarios. Another contribution of this thesis is on visualization of simulation output. One of the main challenges of using simulation systems by transport planners and decision makers as end-users is to understand the complex output of the simulation. In this thesis, I empirically demonstrated how the usability of a freight transport simulation system is improved by adding a visualization module that illustrates the results of the simulation for the end-users.
DOI https://doi.org/10.24834/2043/24881 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Malmö university, Faculty of Technology and Society
Series/Issue Studies in Computer Science;5
ISBN 9789171049247
Pages 43
Language eng (iso)
Subject Technology
Research Subject Categories::TECHNOLOGY
Included papers
  1. I. Hajinasab, B., Davidsson, P., Persson, J. A. (2014). A survey on the use of computational models for ex ante analysis of urban transport policy instruments. Procedia Computer Science, 32, 348-355. (8 pages)

  2. II. Hajinasab, B., Davidsson, P., Persson, J. A., Holmgren, J. (2016) Towards an Agent-based Model of Passenger Transportation. Multi Agent Based Simulation XVI, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9568, 132-145, Springer. (14 pages)

  3. III. Davidsson, P., Hajinasab, B., Holmgren, J., Jevinger, Å., Persson, J. A. (2016). The Fourth Wave of Digitalization and Public Transport: Opportunities and Challenges. Sustainability, 8(12), 1248. (16 pages)

  4. IV. Hajinasab, B., Davidsson, P., Holmgren, J., Persson, J. A. (2017). On the use of on-line services in transport simulation. Transportation Research Procedia, 21, 208-215. (8 pages)

  5. V. Hajinasab, B. Davidsson, P., Persson, J. A. (2017). An on-line agent-based approach to estimate the effects of transport policy instruments: An empirical study of commuting in urban areas, Submitted for journal publication (18 pages)

  6. VI. Hajinasab, B. Davidsson, P., Löwgren, J., Persson, J. A. (2017). Visualization of data from transportation simulation systems, Proceedings of 13th WCTR Conference, 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (18 pages)

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