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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Large-Scale Traffi c Simulation Through Distributed Computing of Paramics


Simulation modeling is an increasingly popular and effective tool for analyzing transportation problems, which are not amendable to study by other means. We examine the need for parallel or distributed simulation approaches from the need for computational speed-ups, availability of options towards that, and then at the need to distribute the effort to develop network simulation contexts and datasets. After an overview of the general techniques for the distributed discrete-event simulation and previous efforts on the distributed traffic simulation, we present the general architecture of the proposed distributed modeling framework. Two categories of modeling strategies, namely, light global control / independent subnets vs. heavy global control / coordinated subnets are described. We have implemented the distributed scheme of light global control / independent subnets and the implemented details, such as communication techniques and vehicle transferring across the boundary of two subnets are discussed. Unlike the previous studies using the dedicated high performance machines, our efforts are to utilize the low-cost networked PCs that are commonly available. By using the API supported by off-the-shelf Paramics software, we are able to distribute the computational load of microscopic simulation to multiple single-processor PCs without access the proprietary source codes of the simulation program. Performance testing and analysis of the implemented prototype demonstrate that the proposed framework is very promising.

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