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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Netcell Simulation Package: Technical Description


This report describes the NETCELL simulation package. NETCELL is a freeway network simulation program based on the cell transmission model which captures the dynamic evolution of multicommodity traffic over a freeway network with three-legged junctions in a way that is consistent with the hydrodynamic theory of highway traffic. NETVIEW is a graphical postprocessor for viewing NETCELL output files. This document discusses implementation of the programs in detail, including the cell representation for a freeway network with three-legged junctions, data and file structures, inputs and outputs, and some key algorithms developed to model traffic progression in junctions. The memory and computational time requirements for the program are also estimated. An example for a small network with a single origin, two destinations, and a single diverge junction is included. This report also includes a user's guide to the NETVIEW program. The NETCELL program is based on a prototype program written in 1994. This version incorporates some enhancements to the model and memory handling improvements to allow NETCELL to model very large networks. This version of the NETCELL program should be useful for use as a research and engineering tool. Keywords: traffic simulation, traffic flow model, transportation network, traffic congestion management, dynamic traffic assignment.

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