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EWGT2016 Keynote Plenary Speakers

Leading scientists that confirmed keynote talks for the EURO Working Group on Transportation 2016 Meeting up to now:

Towards Reliability in the Usage of Traffic Simulation Tools

Peter Wagner
Chief Engineer with the Institute of Transport Systems of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
Honary Professor at the Technical University of Berlin

When using simulation programs to support decisions, it is of the uttermost importance to make sure that the results are as reliable and realistic as possible. This turns out to be one of the bigger challenges with the development and the use of those programs, be it open source or not. With respect to traffic simulations, this means to tackle a wide range of modelling questions from driving a vehicle to route and mode choice decisions or even decisions regarding to move at all (demand modelling). While this being a more or less scientific and engineering job to do, in addition the model and simulation developers have to help the applicants in the daily use of these simulation programs to avoid wrong usage resulting in bad decisions. This keynote will give some examples which show, that there are still a lot of hurdles to surmount until we may reach a state where these programs can be considered ripe.

PeterProfessor Dr. Peter Wagner is with the Institute of Transportation Systems of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany. Since 2013, he holds a honory professorship at the Technical University of Berlin named "Dynamic Modelling and Control of Transport Systems". In the past, he also served as division head at DLR, but decided after 10 years to go back to research and quit the management carrier. His research covers a wide range of modelling questions in traffic including topics like modelling traffic demand and traffic assignment, developing new control methods for traffic lights, designing fast microscopic simulation models, and trying to find better models for understanding human drivers. He has authored/co-authored well over 100 papers, some of them rank very high with regard to their citations. In addition, he serves as reviewer for many journals, and is member of the editorial boards of the Transportation Research C and the European Transport Research Review.

Traffic Simulation: where we are and where we go.

Jaume Barceló
Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistics and Operations Research
Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, UPC-Barcelona Tech

A concise definition of simulation can be ”simulation is a numerical technique, which may include stochastic characteristics, for conducting experiments on a digital computer involving mathematical models that describe the dynamic behavior of a system over time”. Since the advent of digital computers systems simulation become one of the most powerful and widely used numerical techniques in the main fields of science and engineering applications and, logically, traffic and transportation systems could not be an exception. Since the formulation of the early traffic flow and car-following models in the late 50’s of the past century traffic simulation approaches have been classified as macroscopic or microscopic, depending on the nature of the mathematical models describing the behavior of traffic flows, although in an attempt of overcoming the computational burden of dealing with traffic models of large networks, while keeping the main dynamic features of traffic phenomena, an intermediate modeling approach was developed: the mesoscopic traffic simulation. Traffic simulation in any of its forms is extensively used in the analysis and design of traffic systems, in traffic feasibility studies and many other applications, and perhaps one of the most relevant could be the use of traffic simulation to support real-time traffic management decisions. Since the early 70’s professional traffic simulation software has done a long way and currently a variety of commercial products are available, as well as open source software systems to assist researchers, however, does this mean that all conventional traffic simulation challenges are solved? On the other hand the technology evolution has raised new questions and challenges requiring new approaches. Agent-based simulation, and activity based traffic demand modeling could be just examples of that. This lecture is aimed at providing a personal overview of the evolution of traffic simulation since its origins, a summary critical analysis of the current situation, highlighting some of the still not well solved problems and drawing the attention to the new aspects requiring a special attention.

Jaume BarceloDoctor in Physical Sciences by the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (1974), from 1986 to 2014 full professor of the department of Statistics and Operations Research at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC); his principal fields of interest include Traffic and Transport Modeling, Transport Planning, Optimization and Simulation techniques in transportation and their applications to City Logistics and Intelligent Transportation Systems, and has more than 30 years of experience of research and software development in the field of traffic engineering and modeling. Since 2007 is the Scientific Director of the Transport and ICT Projects at inLab FIB ( of UPC. Is author of more than 100 papers published in Technical Journals, Conference Proceedings and chapters in technical books on transportation.
In 1985 set up LIOS (Laboratori d’Investigació Operativa i Simulació) that in 1997 merged with other research groups at UPC to set up PROMALS (Programació Matemàtica, Logística i Simulació), a consolidated research group certified by the Catalan Government, a Transportation Research Laboratory at the Department of Statistics and Operations Research of UPC. Under his direction LIOS, between 1985 and 1997, developed the microscopic traffic simulator Aimsun. Co-founder in 1997 and Scientific Director of TSS-Traffic Simulation Systems until 2007, the spin-off company of UPC set up to commercialize, maintain and provide technical support to the microscopic traffic simulator Aimsun, worldwide used today by more than 3500 users in 65 countries. As director of LIOS and PROMALS has been the principal researcher since 1989 of the UPC team in more than 20 projects of the R&D Framework Programs of the European Union and in National &D projects.

Applications of Simulation and Big Data in Proactive Traffic Management

Mohamed Abdel-Aty
Professor and Chair of the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Department at the University of Central Florida
Deputy Director, Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation (CATSS)

Microscopic simulation is one of the most widely used tools for evaluating traffic management strategies, which could be carried out in a short time and at a low cost. They could be used to assess how the proposed management strategies improve traffic operation conditions. In addition to traffic operation, microscopic simulation also facilitates roadway safety investigation. Through microscopic simulation, safety performance of the traffic system could be assessed using surrogate measures. These could be microscopic traffic indicators, such as speed variance or volume. Also, the Surrogate Safety Assessment Model (SSAM) processes the vehicle trajectories in the simulation and provides conflict time, locations, and types. Meanwhile, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology-based safety countermeasures can also be evaluated in microscopic simulation. Nevertheless, the reliability of microscopic simulation networks could only be ensured when they are well calibrated and validated. One important way to enhance the calibration and validation is by improving the quality of the input data. Big Data in the transportation arena, enabled by the popularization of ITS infrastructure, could provide detailed and accurate traffic information in real-time. Hence, implementing big data to calibrate and validate microscopic simulation networks can help in better duplicating field traffic condition in microscopic simulation. To augment simulation for traffic improvement, another crucial research area is driving simulation. It offers valuable insights into testing new engineering solutions while accounting for driving behavior and human factors. Other simulation tools include Cellular Automata (CA) models as another approach to simulate traffic flow. They give researchers higher flexibility to define the behavior of simulated vehicles and serve as an alternative when other expensive simulation software are unavailable. Last but not least, visualization of Big Data could also provide experts with timely information to pinpoint the traffic challenges on their systems (i.e., congestion, crash risk, and travel time reliability, etc.) and come up with targeted countermeasures. The presentation is an overview of the different applications of simulation in traffic management, safety and operation based on numerous studies by the presenter.

Mohamed Abdel-AtyDr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, PE is a Pegasus Professor and Chair of the Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering Department at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He is also the Deputy Director of the Transportation Center (CATSS). His main expertise and interests are in the areas of traffic safety analysis, simulation, big data and data analytics and ITS. He was awarded in 2015 the Pegasus Professorship, the highest honor at UCF. In the last 20 years, Dr. Abdel-Aty has managed more than 50 research projects and published more than 400 papers, more than 210 in journals (Citations 7750, H-Index 46). He supervised to graduation 57 PhD and MS students. Dr. Abdel-Aty is the Editor-in-Chief of Accident Analysis and Prevention. Dr. Abdel-Aty is a leading traffic safety expert at both the national and international levels. In 2003 he was selected as UCF’s Distinguished Researcher. He has been invited to deliver many Keynote speeches in conferences around the world, including in Belgium, Brazil, China, Korea, Turkey, KSA, Qatar and UAE. He is a registered professional engineer in Florida.



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