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NMC’s Big Data Panel at TRB a Success

NMC Assistant Director Natalia Ruiz Juri presided over a well-attended presentation on January 11 at TRB’s 94th Annual Meeting. Along with co-presenter Xuesong Zhou of Arizona State University, Ruiz Juri hosted a workshop titled “Analyzing, Validating, and Visualizing Results from Modeling: The Role of Big Data and New Technologies.” More than 120 people attended this Sunday morning session that featured panelists from industry and academia.

Sponsored by the Transportation Network Modeling Committee, the workshop covered a wide variety of topics concerning the innovative use and analysis of data for transportation planning and operations applications. Presenters also discussed some of the major barriers to a more widespread use of novel data sources, including privacy concerns about some data types, technological issues in managing, storing, and processing large data sets, and the role of standard data formats.

  •  The discussion kicked off with a presentation about data analysis and visualization by Dr. Michael Pack of the University of Maryland, who was recently honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work to encourage data sharing and information visualization within the transportation community.
  • The NMC’s Alireza Khani presented work on transit modeling and data visualization, along with Dr. Mark Hickman, who joined the panel all the way from the University of Queensland in Australia.
  • Mike Finn from HERE (previously Nokia) discussed using cellphone-sourced Big Data for performance management.
  • Michalis Xyntarakys (Cambridge Systematics) addressed the use of trajectory data for microsimulation model calibration, reporting the results of an FHWA project.
  • Dr. Yi-Chang Chiu, a University of Arizona professor, CTR alum, and founder of Metropia, discussed data collected through his novel cell app that aims to improve network-wide traffic by assigning drivers to routes based on their desired departure time.

Novel visualization and database technologies can transform the way in which we analyze transportation data and modeling results. This workshop explored visualization and data analytics approaches that enhance our ability to interpret, present, and ultimately implement the results of advanced transportation models.


Posted by Maureen Kelly  |  Category : Network Modeling Center