Development of a Methodology for Calibration and Validation of a Mesoscopic Traffic Simulation Model

Traffic simulation models are increasingly being used in the transportation engineering profession—often, to solve complex problems which may not lend themselves to traditional analysis techniques. The application of traffic simulation models has traditionally been at the individual vehicle (microscopic) level or aggregate traffic stream (macroscopic) level. Recently, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other agencies have shown interest in mesoscopic traffic simulation models, which allow for a level of detail higher than macroscopic models and model execution times better than microscopic models. The objective of this research project is to develop a procedure to calibrate and validate mesoscopic traffic simulation models that can be used by VDOT engineers and facilitate consistent, accurate, and efficient application of mesoscopic simulation to projects that may have a regional impact. The calibration procedure will be demonstrated on a test network in Virginia.