Methodology for Selecting Microscopic Simulators: Comparative Evaluation of AIMSUN and VISSIM

Haifeng Xiao, Ravi Ambadipudi, John Hourdakis, Panos Michalopoulos
May 2005
Report no. CTS 05-05


Because federal regulations require that all changes to existing traffic systems be checked for operational efficiency, simulation models are becoming popular evaluation tools. There are several highly regarded simulation models available. However, there are no guidelines for selecting a simulator that is most suitable for meeting the needs of a specific project. The authors present a simulation model selection process that takes into account quantitative and qualitative criteria. The qualitative evaluation process includes functional capabilities, input/output features, ease of use and quality of service. Quantitative evaluation considerations include accuracy, completion efforts and the parameters involved. They also present a grading scheme in order to reduce subjectivity in the evaluation process. For demonstration purposes, the authors used AIMSUN and VISSIM systems to model a real freeway section and compiled the evaluation results.

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