Simulation-Based Framework for Transportation Network Management in Emergencies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, ridership - commuting, organisation - management, mode - mass transit


Transportation networks, Transit, Traffic simulation, Traffic operations centers, Traffic management centers, Traffic control centers, Simulation, Rapid response (Emergencies), Public transit, Mass transit, Local transit, Evacuation, Emergency training, Emergency management, DynaMIT (Computer program), Dynamic traffic assignment, Disasters and emergency operations, Decision support systems, Computer simulation, Boston (Massachusetts)


A simulation-based framework for the modeling of transportation network performance under emergency conditions is presented. The system extends the well-established dynamic traffic assignment (DTA) framework and provides the necessary support for the meaningful study of a wide array of evacuation measures, the development of strategies under different prevailing conditions, and the generation of comprehensive emergency response plans. The system can be used to develop libraries to deal with emergencies and unplanned events, train response personnel and traffic management center operators, provide decision support and assistance for the evacuation of residents from affected areas, and ensure unhindered access to first responders. A variety of practical issues relevant to evacuation modeling are discussed, and the modeling framework is demonstrated by using the Boston, Massachusetts, network as an example. DynaMIT, a state-of-the-art DTA model, is used in the case study to illustrate how the benefits of network management strategies might be ascertained. The paper concludes with future directions, including the integration of simulation modeling as a real-time tool for the management of evolving evacuations.