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

Process Validation of Urban Freight and Logistics Models

Corresponding Author: Rick Donnelly, WSP

Presented By: Rick Donnelly, WSP


A number of innovative freight and commercial vehicle models have been built in recent years, ranging from quick response models to tour-based formulations based on truck survey data to agent-based microsimulation models. As impressive as these contributions are, most have only included nominal validation efforts, typically limited to comparisons to traffic counts. In many cases both the quality and quantity of these counts are disappointing, and definitive conclusions about model validity and accuracy are difficult to draw from them. Fortunately, increasing the number of counts is far from the only option open to modellers. A far more expansive practice known as process validation can not only overcome the limitations of count data, but admit a far wider spectrum of information, data, and knowledge to the task. This paper illustrates how the process was applied to a tour-based microsimulation model of urban freight, and offers suggestions how it can be more widely applied to freight and logistics models.


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