Microsimulation Modelling

Microsimulation Modelling

The Challenge

The major cities of Ireland, the UK, Europe, and beyond are moving towards humanisation and revitalisation of their cities, with more of a focus on innovative transit, cycle, and pedestrian movement. There is an ongoing challenge with balancing the congestion that is building as a result of urbanisation and population explosions, with convincing road users and local stakeholders of the need for conversion of existing vehicular infrastructure and the sharing of limited space, in order to create a safer, more environmentally sound “people-friendly” space.

These changes require significant capital investment to undertake and there is the challenge that a given scheme may not work. The traditional strategic, regional, and local operational models, are often insufficient to analyse these uniquely urban issues in dense city cores and do not have the ability to provide detailed visualisation of the resulting situation and impacts. The visualisation of the scheme can be a key opportunity to win over the stakeholders and the public, in order to get approval to implement these modern, and sometimes radical, changes to the transport space.

Now, more than ever, a modelling approach is needed that can complement and inform the decision-making process that simultaneously provides mathematical precision, multi-modal agent-based interaction, flexibility and innovation, as well as 3D, realistic visualisation capabilities.


Microsimulation is an “agent-based” modelling technique that operates at the level of individual vehicles, transit units, or persons, and their interactions within the context of transport operations. Unlike strategic modelling, micro simulation modelling can be used for detailed understanding of driving behaviour, queuing, safety on a person-by-person basis, together with the total impact on a system.

SYSTRA Irelands team of professional consultants have extensive experience in the capabilities of microsimulation modelling packages and tools, gained on projects in Ireland, the UK and across the globe. We offer optimal microsimulation modelling solutions to your needs with capability in PTV VISSIM/VISTRO, AIMSUN, and S-Paramics.

Our Dublin based consultants are experienced in the software packages advanced features, such as the included developer suites, which allow the user to develop custom-built algorithms and APIs for these packages - setting the limits of possibility only to what the client can imagine. These APIs allow the microsimulation model to be custom-built to technology infrastructure, metering algorithms, computer systems, and/or imagined future ITS implementations, as imagined by a project’s scope, or the client’s desire.

One of the major challenges for public and private transport agencies is presenting their projects clearly and any associated impacts to stakeholders. It can be quite difficult to adequately explain the merit of a project using graphs and tables alone. Modern microsimulation packages allow for the development of brilliant 3D landscapes and rendering of private and public vehicles, as well as pedestrians and cyclists, within the landscape. This 3D environment utilises all of the same modelling techniques, helping to create relevant and statistically accurate representations of the proposed project in images that are familiar and recognisable to viewers.

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