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Tour-based microsimulation of urban commercial movements

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Abstract

A system for modelling commercial movements has been developed for Calgary in Canada. The result is a representation that is novel in this context, including a tour-based microsimulation of individual vehicle movements that provides a wide-ranging and detailed representation and yet avoids explicit consideration of shipments and the related complexities regarding the conversion of commodity flows to shipments, the allocation of shipments to vehicles or routings and the treatment of less-than-load movements and empty vehicles. This development effort drew on the data obtained in a set of surveys collecting information on the roughly 37Â 000 tours and 185Â 000 trips (within these tours) made in the Calgary Region by commercial vehicles on a typical weekday in 2001. The resulting system of models includes an agent-based microsimulation framework, using a tour-based approach, based on what has been learned from the data. It accounts for truck routes, responds to related policy and provides insight into aspects of commercial vehicle movements. All types of commercial vehicles are represented, including light vehicles, heavier single unit and multi-unit configurations. All sectors of the economy are incorporated, including retail, industrial, service and wholesaling. This modelling system is integrated with an aggregate equilibrium model of household-related travel, with the microsimulation processes done in external Java applications.

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