ATM Workshop on FREEVAL-DSS

FREEVAL-DSS workshop participantsThe next workshop on FREEVAL-DSS will be held at the ITE Conference in Chicago on June 26, 2016. To register, visit: http://go.ncsu.edu/freevaldss.

A previous workshop was held on April 1, 2016, during the UTC Conference for the Southeastern Region, which took place at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The workshop was led by Drs. Nagui Rouphail and Behzad Aghdashi, both of the Institute for Transportation Research & Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Workshop participants included students, faculty and transportation professionals who sat through 2.5 hours of hands-on activities using FREEVAL-DSS. 

“We think this is a great tool for student and professional training purposes,” Dr. Aghdashi said. “A copy of the workshop material including software were given at no charge to the participants for their testing, feedback and use.”

FREEVAL-DSS is a computerized tool which simulates near real-time Active Traffic Management (ATM) strategies on freeway facilities, and it provides a menu of available ATM strategies to select from for improving the operational condition of the simulated freeway facility in FREEVAL-DSS. ATM interventions in the middle of a simulation are enabled each 15 minutes and allow the user to deploy a set of ATM strategies in the next 15 minutes based on the current operating conditions. This framework emulates operations and interventions that occur at many Traffic Management Centers (TMCs).  

“The hands-on features of this workshop provided the participants with a realistic depiction of the atmosphere at a traffic management center," Dr. Aghdashi said. "They experienced the responsibility and challenges that a TMC operator encounters upon considering deploying ATM strategies.”

FREEVAL-DSS (for Dynamic Strategy Selection) was developed at ITRE along with researchers from Florida International University (FIU). The tool was a key deliverable from a STRIDE-funded project titled “Dynamic Traffic Control Interventions for Enhanced Mobility and Economic Competitiveness” (#2013-009S). A link to the completed project will be posted soon at /completed-projects.

The workshop included introductory material on the modeling concepts, as well as example problems where participants ran the model on their laptops. Prior to the workshop, participants were sent a short video on how to install FREEVAL-DSS and the Java version needed to run the model. FREEVAL-DSS can be executed in both MacOS and Windows environments.  

This was the first workshop on FREEVAL-DSS that has been offered, and Dr. Rouphial, the lead investigator on the project was satisfied with the outcome.

“I believe both participants and instructors learned a lot from this first workshop,” he said. “It will help us improve both our presentation material and in developing example problems to make them more accessible and effective during the short 2.5 hours we have for such workshops.”

“The response from the participants was very positive, especially the “game” potion of the workshop where they competed with each other in selecting the best strategy and comparing the ensuing operating condition of the facility,” Rouphail added.

If you are planning to attend the Mid-Western ITE Conference in Chicago on June 26, 2016, register for this next workshop by clicking the following link: http://go.ncsu.edu/freevaldss.

For more information, contact:

Nagui Rouphail, Ph.D.
ITRE Director & Professor
North Carolina State University
(Ph) 919-515-1154
Email: rouphail@ncsu.edu 

Behzad Aghdashi, Ph.D.
Research Associate
North Carolina State University
(Ph) 919-515-8580
Email: saghdas@ncsu.edu