Student Projects: The School of Business at the University of Colorado at Denver

Using Simio to Model Traffic Flows in Downtown Denver

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Music: Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com

 

The capstone course in the Decision Science Masters program at the School of Business at the University of Colorado at Denver requires students to work as a team on a real problem. The idea is to have a substantial, challenging problem brought to the university by a local organization for the course to be built around. This term, an organization called the Downtown Denver Partnership suggested the students model and analyze traffic flows in lower downtown Denver.

They were interested in learning how a decision to close a particular street (perhaps to accommodate a street festival) would impact traffic flows elsewhere. To assist in this regard, the class used Simio to model a 16 square block area of Downtown Denver. The course, led by Professor Gary Kochenberger, had six graduate students.

Objectives

  • Learn about simulation methodolog
  • Learn the new simulation language Simio
  • Apply Simio to the traffic flow system for the Downtown Denver Partnership

Conclusions:

  • The students readily took to simulation methodology and easily learned Simio.
  • Our analysis of the changing traffic flows is underway at this time but our preliminary results indicate that one of the proposed street closings (Wynkoop street between 17th and 18th streets) , even under peak traffic conditions, would lead to acceptable changes elsewhere. A complete analysis, including extreme stress testing, will be completed by the end of the summer.