two-fluid model, VISSIM, calibration, simulation, comparison


The microscopic traffic simulation program VISSIM is a powerful tool that has been used by transportation engineers and urban planners around the world. A VISSIM simulation is meant to depict the performance of the physical road network through the use of modeling tools and behavioral parameters. The process which gets the model to the point of matching real world conditions is called calibration and requires a means of relating the real world to the simulated world. The topic of this thesis discusses a new means of calibration using the two-fluid model. The two-fluid model is a macroscopic modeling technique which provides quantitative characteristics of the performance of traffic flow on an urban road network. The model does this by generating a relationship between the travel time, stopped time, and running time per mile. The two-fluid model has been used to evaluate the performance of road networks for decades but now it is possible to use it to calibrate a VISSIM model. For this thesis, the two-fluid model to be used for calibration was generated from data collected on the Orlando, Florida, downtown network in February, 2008, during three traffic peaks for three typical weekdays. The network was then modeled in VISSIM which required a large amount of data regarding network geometry, signal timings, signal coordination schemes, and turning movement volumes. A similar data collection exercise was conducted during November, 2008, to capture the effects of changes that took place in the network during the ten month period. Another VISSIM network was also made to match the conditions of the November network. The February field data was used to successfully calibrate the VISSIM model and the November data was used to validate the calibrated network. The validation proved that the two-fluid models from the November field data and VISSIM data are statistically similar. With the network calibrated and validated, it could be used to perform scenario tests to see how the network performance would be affected by changes to the network. The two-fluid model has often been used to compare two different physical networks or explore how the performance of a single physical network has changed over time. A similar comparison can be done with the two-fluid models from a calibrated, simulated network. By using the original calibrated models as base cases, scenarios ranging from lane closures due to traffic incidents to the addition of a whole new signalized corridor on the network can be modeled in VISSIM and compared with the corresponding base case. This would allow a governing agency to preview the effects of proposed changes.


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Graduation Date



Radwan, Essam


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)