MULTITUDE Program (2009-2013)


Research focuses on the two modelling levels:

  • a Highway level

  • a Network level

In the first case, the focus is on driver/traffic modelling on highways. In this case, simulations describe the evolution of traffic over time on a highway by reproducing individual driving behaviours as the result of driver interactions with the environment. Analysis essentially involves traffic flow modelling (macro, meso, micro or nano) and the use of detailed vehicle trajectory data.


In the second case, simulation mainly aims at describing the evolution over time of traffic on a network. Analysis involves Origin/Destination (O/D) travel demand modelling, as well as route choice and traffic flow modelling (macro, meso, micro or hybrid) and will mainly deal with the use of aggregate empirical data (e.g. speeds, counts and occupancies at point sensors).


At the two levels, the basic traffic models are the same, but not generally the approaches adopted for calibration and validation. This is mainly due to the different scale of application, the different type of traffic measurements available and the additional dynamics to be modelled at a network level. Therefore two distinct research areas and corresponding Working Groups (WGs) are considered. In all, the Action consists of four research areas and related WGs:

  1. Updated review of traffic simulation practice and research;
  2. Highway modelling;
  3. Network modelling;
  4. Synthesis, dissemination and training.

Specific tasks within the four areas are provided below. A detailed description of the program is available in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

       1.   Updated review of traffic simulation practice and research

  • Task 1.1. Survey of the usage of traffic simulation tools.
  • Task 1.2. Review of traffic data collection and estimation techniques.
  • Task 1.3. Review of methodologies for traffic model estimation, calibration and validation.

       2.   Highway modelling

  • Task 2.1. Exchanging and sharing advanced traffic datasets.
  • Task 2.2. Defining contents, quality and estimation techniques for advanced traffic datasets.
  • Task 2.3. Understanding the role and impact of parameters on model outputs
  • Task 2.4. Developing techniques for highway model estimation and validation.

       3.   Network modelling

  • Task 3.1. Exchanging and sharing standard traffic datasets.
  • Task 3.2. Defining contents, quality and data reduction techniques for standard traffic datasets.
  • Task 3.3. Developing techniques for network model calibration, validation and O/D matrix refining.

       4.   Synthesis, dissemination and training

  • Task 4.1. Harmonizing approaches and outputs
  • Task 4.2. Guidelines and best practice for model calibration and validation
  • Task 4.3. Training end users to the correct use of traffic simulation tools.