Signalized Intersection Simulation Program for Education

PI: Scott Washburn, Ph.D., University of Florida

UTC Project Information

Abstract

In the “Introduction to Transportation Engineering” class, two of the most difficult topics for students to learn are often queuing theory and signal operation and analysis. The large majority of today’s students are ‘visual’ learners and ‘active learning’ is proving to be a more effective teaching method than the traditional lecture. This learning paradigm for students lends itself well to the use of computer software, particularly traffic simulation programs, to significantly enhance student education in transportation engineering. However, nearly all traffic simulation software packages are designed for application (i.e., intended to be used by practitioners or researchers for specific applications), rather than illustrating the concepts and principles that lead to the outputs/results that are normally the primary interest of users of a software program. The objective of this project is to develop a signalized intersection microscopic simulation program that will lead to more effective and efficient learning of queuing theory and signalized intersection operation and analysis concepts.