TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

Big Data In Kentucky: Standard And Innovative Regional Models

Corresponding Author: Yang Han, The Corradino Group

Presented By: Ken Kaltenbach, The Corradino Group


More and more state DOTs have developed standardized travel demand modeling processes to promote consistency of model application while allowing for flexibility between regions across their states. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has established a state-of-the-practice standardized procedure for developing regional models. This procedure integrates innovative methods and big data (e.g., mobile phone data) to enhance the modeling process. This paper describes KYTC’s standardized modeling process.

KYTC has standardized file naming, file organization, the model stream, script, and interface. Hard-coded parameters have been minimized so the model can be updated without modifying the script. Standards have been established for traffic analysis zones (TAZ’s), network coding and attribute development. Model networks incorporate special override fields for use when the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual (HCM)-based speed/capacity calculator doesn’t quite fit the local roadway conditions. Network attributes allow easy control of link usage by autos and trucks. The standardized model includes a regional medium and heavy truck component, which was recently enhanced by integrating Quick Response Freight Manual II and origin-destination matrix estimation (ODME). The established TAZ attributes of truck special generator offer additional flexibility in truck modeling. The innovative trip generation model uses area type factors derived from mobile phone OD data and land use information, a flexible household model, as well as the NCHRP method for external trip estimation. The standard model provides flexibility to incorporate cost-effective forecasting approaches for trip distribution, temporal distribution and directional patterns derived from mobile phone OD data, with necessary adjustments. Traffic assignment are calibrated and validated to standard KYTC targets. Model validation and comprehensive system performance reports are automatically generated with each model run. Users can effectively control report generation in the model interface.

KYTC has recently used the standardized procedure to develop five regional models. This procedure makes travel demand modeling applications consistent, promotes transferability and sharing between areas, encourages continuing cooperation and good practice across the state, and offers flexibility to make improvements. The model structure is designed to seamlessly integrate advanced modeling methods and allow the innovative use of big data.


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