News

Networking Modeling Center Year in Review

By Joey Williams  |  Transportation Research

The Network Modeling Center (NMC) recently held an end-of-year event for researchers, staff, and students to celebrate 2013 accomplishments. Held at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s (TACC) visualization lab, they showcased the two organizations’ recent collaboration, with focus given to the capabilities of a new visualization tool for the dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) model.

NMC students, Jake Gutekunst and Carlos Balderas, interact with reports
NMC students, Jake Gutekunst and Carlos Balderas, interact with reports.

 

2013 – Year in Review

NMC also has expanded collaborations with faculty in the Transportation Engineering area of the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering department.

Dr. Stephen Boyles and his students have developed new network algorithms for NMC’s tools, while Dr. Randy Machemehl and his students have worked on improved intersection modeling and traffic operation applications.

Dr. Chandra Bhat and his students have helped integrate activity-based modeling with DTA, and a new collaboration by Dr. Kara Kockelman and her students promises to improve the treatment of land use changes within the modeling system.

Students joining NMC this year were also given special recognition at the event, including Ehsan Jafari, Tyler Beduhn, Jake Gutekunst, Ankita Chaudhary, and David Sun.

NMC said goodbye to recent graduate, Mallory Necessary, completed her M.S. this semester and will soon join Kimley-Horn and Associates in Atlanta, Georgia.

Akita Chaudhary with TACC interactive report tool
Akita Chaudhary with TACC interactive report tool.

 

Significant Work Done in 2013

NMC completed several key projects in 2013.

  • Modeling the proposed SH 45SW
  • Congress Avenue through downtown Austin
  • Developed guidance for TxDOT on work zone design

Significant progress was made on the Austin and Dallas regional DTA models as well as a dynamic transit model for Austin, and the first test was successfully conducted of running a DTA model on TACC’s Stampede super-computer, which showed encouraging potential for significant runtime reductions.

The group’s accomplishments were presented at numerous conferences (several Transportation Research Board conferences, INFORMS, ASCE Green Streets, etc.) and several papers were published (including one winning the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s award for Best Student Paper).

Ehsan Jafari and Alireza Khani discuss TACC visualization collaboration
Ehsan Jafari and Alireza Khani discuss TACC visualization collaboration.

 

New Projects Moving Forward

NMC was a partner in winning several new proposals.

  • USDOT Data-Supported Transportation Operations and Planning Center – Tier 1 UTC
  • Developing advanced models for Williamson County, in collaboration with HDR, Inc.
  • Evaluating right-turn slip lanes for TxDOT
  • Developing network models that account for electric vehicles through a National Science Foundation I/UCRC.

Welcome to NMC!

NMC Director, Dr. Jen Duthie, recognized the hiring of several new key staff members in 2013

  • Ken Perrine – traffic simulation and software engineering
  • Alireza Khani – dynamic transit assignment and bicycle modeling
  • Mason Gemar – DTA applications and project management
  • Heidi Ross – strategic planning and communications
  • Jackson Archer – traffic model applications
  • Katie Larsen – training material development and freight modeling

NMC Co-Director, Natalia Ruiz Juri, discussing TACC visualizations with software engineer, Dennis Bell
NMC Co-Director, Natalia Ruiz Juri, discussing TACC visualizations with software engineer, Dennis Bell.

 

Dr. Randy Machemehl analyzes data with students
Dr. Randy Machemehl analyzes data with students.

 

The TACC visualization lab
The TACC visualization lab.