A video-based approach to calibrating car-following parameters in VISSIM for urban traffic

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Microscopic simulation models need to be calibrated to represent realistic local traffic conditions. Traditional calibration methods are conducted by searching for the model parameter set that minimizes the discrepancies of certain macroscopic metrics between simulation results and field observations. However, this process could easily lead to inappropriate selection of calibration parameters and thus erroneous simulation results. This paper proposes a video-based approach to incorporate direct measurements of car-following parameters into the process of VISSIM model calibration. The proposed method applies automated video processing techniques to extract vehicle trajectory data and utilizes the trajectory data to determine values of certain car-following parameters in VISSIM. This paper first describes the calibration procedure step by step, and then applies the method to a case study of simulating traffic at a signalized intersection in VISSIM. From the field-collected video footage, trajectories of 1229 through-movement vehicles were extracted and analyzed to calibrate three car-following parameters regarding desired speed, desired acceleration, and safe following distance, respectively. The case study demonstrates the advantages and feasibility of the proposed approach.




Lu, Z., Fu, T., Fu, L., Shiravi, S., & Jiang, C. (2016). A video-based approach to calibrating car-following parameters in VISSIM for urban traffic. International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, 5(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijtst.2016.06.001

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