DTAlite: A queue-based mesoscopic traffic simulator for fast model evaluation and calibration

Xuesong Zhou, Jeffrey Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


A number of emerging dynamic traffic analysis applications, such as regional or statewide traffic assignment, require a theoretically rigorous and computationally efficient model to describe the propagation and dissipation of system congestion with bottleneck capacity constraints. An open-source light-weight dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) package, namely DTALite, has been developed to allow a rapid utilization of advanced dynamic traffic analysis capabilities. This paper describes its three major modeling components: (1) a light-weight dynamic network loading simulator that embeds Newell’s simplified kinematic wave model; (2) a mesoscopic agent-based DTA procedure to incorporate driver’s heterogeneity; and (3) an integrated traffic assignment and origin-destination demand calibration system that can iteratively adjust path flow volume and distribution to match the observed traffic counts. A number of real-world test cases are described to demonstrate the effectiveness and performance of the proposed models under different network and data availability conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number961345
JournalCogent Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Dynamic traffic assignment
  • Traffic demand estimation
  • Traffic simulation
  • Transportation network modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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