Traffic Efficiency Modeling

Team: 4


Area of Science: Computer Science

The problem addressed in this abstract is the current state of affairs of most everyday city traffic: Traffic congestion, which can be a major problem in big cities. With oil becoming scarcer every day, there is a lot that cities can do to reduce the consumption of oil and the pollution of the atmosphere. Our mission is to find what ways of manipulating traffic will increase efficiency, because the more freely everything flows, the less oil and time we waste. Traffic congestion is a much overlooked problem, but it needs to be resolved as it is both harmful to society and the atmosphere. Hopefully, with some minor tweaks, we can show that congestion can be reduced or even eliminated.

There are many suggested solutions to traffic congestion, but by writing a good program, we will be able to determine what theories work, and what theories do not. Our program will create a simulation of city traffic that can be easily manipulated, but will still follow the rules of regular traffic. With our model, we will be able to monitor the idle time of each car and manipulate the density of traffic to see how this affects idle time. By reducing the idle time with respect to density, we can prove which method increases the efficiency of traffic. Will smarter lights solve it? Changing street geometry? Applying special rules to traffic? A combination? Our program aims to find the answer.

What We Have Done:
Thus far we have mainly done research on our topic and found many interesting things about Traffic Congestion that will come in handy in the development of our project. Among other things, we have mainly found articles describing the severity of traffic congestion and my resources for possible solutions to it. We aim to try several of these solutions, but first we need to create a simulator. The status of our actual program is still developing. We have written a core program in Java that allows for the creation of almost any dynamic or preset map with cars that obey the rules of traffic. There are still some glitches with how traffic lights behave and we have yet to implement a pathfinding algorithm so that the cars don't wander in circles, but other than that the program has a nice GUI and is very expandable and useful. As of now, the program core is in applet form, but he hope to make the transition to application form in the near future.

What we are going to do:
Our future lies mainly with development of the program, and every team member is given a job to do. The team Captain will be responsible for the base code of the program which dictates the rules of the world, the application code, complex algorithms, and the GUI. The "Two Toms", as we call them are responsible for creating behavioral code and finding ways to keep track of the efficiency of traffic in the program and showing it. Our final team member, who does not know Java, will be responsible for making a map generator in C++. The map will be written in the form of a text file, which the Java program will read and load as the foundational map. The map generator need only be as complex or as simple as necessary to achieve its main function. Any further complexities to the map generator are at the discretion of its programmer. The java program may create alterations to the map if needed, as some experiments require a change in layout.

See our Timeline! (1) See out Timeline! (2)

Team Members:

  Paul Sanchez
  Thomas Posen
  Luis Daniel Ballesteros
  Jewell Feng

Sponsoring Teacher: Jim Mims