Conference on Agent-Based Modeling in Transportation Planning and Operations -September 30 - October 2, 2013 - The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center - Blacksburg, Virginia
General Information

In the past two decades, transportation professionals and researchers have been incorporating individual person characteristics as a collection of autonomous decision-making entities called agents. These agents are used to model the planning side the traveler’s daily activities. Such daily activities include:

  • Route choice
  • Mode choice
  • Trip chaining
  • Trip substitution
  • Early or late departures
  • Evacuation planning and emergency management
  • Traveler willingness to use toll roads/HOT lanes

On the operations side, several researchers are introducing individual traveler characteristics called agents in modeling the acceleration and braking behaviors of drivers, their car following and lane changing maneuvers, and aggressive driving that is leading to car manufacturers adoption of eco-driving to name a few approaches.

Agent-based modeling allows researchers and users to keep the personal traveler identity or a collection of them as agents intact, using a modeling process to allow the users to trace and make use of the agents’ characteristics in their planning and operations of transportation facilities. In contrast to aggregate-based modeling, agent based modeling looks at a system at the level of its constituent units. Although the aggregate level could perhaps be described with just a few equations of motion, the lower-level description involves describing the individual behavior of potentially many constituent units. Agent-based modeling provides a natural description of the system, flexibility in representing the system, and captures emergent phenomena as a result from the interactions of individual entities.

Conference Objectives

The conference will provide the following objectives:

  • Present the current state of the art/science in agent-based modeling in transportation.
  • Provide the lessons learned from the current research efforts in this field.
  • Define where the future lies in this type of modeling effort and what steps and research agenda need to be taken to ensure its success

Notices & News

View the conference group picture.

View Prof. Kai Nagel's keynote slides.


photo of road



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