Read Aimsun 6.1 New Features text version


A quick guide to the new features available in Aimsun 7

March 2011 © 2005-2011 TSS - Transport Simulation Systems



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Copyright Trademark


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Improvements in dynamic simulators Improved Look-Ahead model Signal group for a specific Vehicle Class Relative Gap and DUE information saved in the database Starting a DUE simulation using a Path Assignment file Additional options for Turning Closure actions "From" and "To" segments added in Lane Closure actions Statistics Change in the calculation of the Delay Time of vehicles in a Virtual Queue New Public Transport statistics Speed statistics by lane Number of lane changes by section New statistical objects New folder to select list of nodes Lost vehicles per node Vehicle trajectories Microscopic simulator improvements New behavioural models New Distance Zone models Improved Car-Following, Lane-Changing and Gap-Acceptance models Mesoscopic simulator improvements Entrance sections and discrete choice model Meterings Traffic Management actions applied to segments Actuated control Path Assignment Result file as input in DUE Travel and delay time for nodes and turnings Macroscopic model improvements Traversal calculation from the assignment results Renaming of Macro Scenario Adjustment changes Adjustment using weights for detection data Other adjustment parameters Link Analysis




Support for multi-network projects Revisions Loading external replications from a database Multimodel New task box area Experiment control New Inspector Window New Subpath object Number of objects in a layer shown in the Table View Comparison of Time Series with different number of elements Easy Hide/Show of Dynamic Labels View Controls View mode updates considering Time Series Extrude Polygon changes User-defined View mode after a simulation New procedure to create a View Style showing attributes Colour individual lanes with a View Style Modifying colour and drawing of a reserved lane Improved Table View Time Series treatment Reordering of frames in the Dynamic bookmarks Join Polylines Command Alphabetical listing of View Modes Profile folder in the Demand Editor Summary and Profile with variable factors


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Open Street Map





API access to the adaptive control plan parameters New function - AKIEstGetInstantVirtualQueueSection External script storing Python script drag and drop New command - Multidel New options using command line


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About this document

In this document we summarise some of the key developments in version 7 of the Aimsun environment and what they mean to you. Our aim is to keep you informed of any changes so that you can continue to get the best from Aimsun. But, as always, please be aware that product data is subject to change without notice. We at TSS-Transport Simulation Systems have tried to make the information contained in this guide as accurate as possible. We cannot guarantee, however, that it is error-free. As always, we welcome your feedback ([email protected]) in our continued improvement and addition of new features to Aimsun.


Copyright © 1992-2011 TSS-Transport Simulation Systems, S.L. All rights reserved. TSS-Transport Simulation Systems products contain certain trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information. Use of this copyright notice is precautionary and does not imply publication or disclosure.


Aimsun is a trademark of TSS-Transport Simulation Systems S.L. Other brand or product names included in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


Aimsun 7 highlights


We are introducing a hybrid simulator in Aimsun 7 in answer to the rising need for combining mesoscopic and microscopic approaches. In the new hybrid traffic simulator, very large-scale networks are modelled mesoscopically while areas of complex interactions benefit from the finer detail of microscopic simulation.

New microsimulator models

We have improved several models for the microsimulator, including Distance Zones, Car-Following, Lane-Changing and Gap-Acceptance models. We have developed specific behaviours at on ramps, weaving sections, queues and roundabouts.


Aimsun can now open two networks at the same time. This allows you to compare base and future scenarios in the same application, among other benefits.


We have introduced a revision system that allows you to create a modified version of a network that you define as the base by storing only the differences between the original and modified network. You can create several modified networks working with the same base version, where, for example, each version corresponds to a proposed future scheme. The advantage of this approach is that, since the base network is common across all versions of the network, if you discover an error or wish to modify a base assumption, you only need to make the change in the base network: the correction will propagate itself to all the networks for which it is the base, obviating the need for repetitive, time-consuming and error-prone corrections.


We are also introducing other interface and graphical novelties in Aimsun 7, such as the task box and the way you can control the experiment while it is executing. Also you can now import content from Open Street Maps. From a programming perspective, we have added new command options and you can now save scripts outside Aimsun.


1. Hybrid

The new Hybrid Simulator features the following: Definition of areas for microscopic simulation. The remaining network outside these areas is mesoscopically simulated

Legion for Aimsun available inside the microscopic areas Hybrid simulator applicable to sub-networks Demand definition using OD Matrices or Traffic States Unified statistics collection at a global level (system, OD pairs, etc.) Look-Ahead propagation between microscopic and mesoscopic areas Dynamic Traffic Assignment based on Stochastic Route Choice Dynamic Traffic Assignment based on Dynamic User Equilibrium Traffic Management

You can create a new hybrid Experiment by selecting a new Dynamic Scenario and then setting the network loading as shown:


The Hybrid tab under the Experiment properties provides options for automatically defining the areas to be microsimulated. Defining a hybrid simulation becomes a simple task of ticking one or more of the following options:

The Hybrid simulator is available to those users with an Aimsun Advanced licence.


2. Other model developments Improvements in dynamic simulators

Improved Look-Ahead model

The distance zone definitions (micro) and the Look-Ahead (meso and micro) are now determined at the turning movement level rather than the section level. Vehicles can have different lane changing behaviours in the same section, depending on their turn. This is useful, for example, when modelling congested motorways with multiple lanes and frequent exits.

Signal group for a specific Vehicle Class

It is now possible to create different signal groups related to the same turn for different vehicle classes. This allows you to code separate phases for buses or bicycles using the same section as other vehicles. Also the stop line for each one of these signal groups can be located at a specified distance from the end of the section, allowing you, for example, to make motorcycles stop closer to the intersection than cars.

Relative Gap and DUE information saved in the database

The DUE Execution and the Relative Gap information are now saved in the output database right after the execution of a replication rather than in the .ang file when you save it. The way you access this information is unchanged.

Starting a DUE simulation using a Path Assignment file

You can now feed a DUE simulation with a Path Assignment file. Beginning a DUE simulation with a static equilibrium may be an appropriate way of attaining


convergence more quickly, while loading the paths produced by a previous run allows you to execute additional iterations.

Interrupting a DUE simulation

In Aimsun 7 you can interrupt a DUE simulation even before the termination criteria are met and save the path assignment results to a file.

Additional options for Turning Closure actions

Turning Closures can now have either a local or a global effect. If you tick Influence the path costs, the route choice will be aware of the closure and will not include the turn in the path calculation; otherwise vehicles only see the closure when approaching the location. Moreover, it is possible to close specific lane-to-lane connections rather than the whole turn simply by ticking Close Specific "From" Lanes and selecting the lanes that cannot be used to make the turn.


"From" and "To" segments added in Lane Closure actions

In the previous versions, you could only apply a Lane Closure to one segment. Now you can select a range of segments.


Change in the calculation of the Delay Time of vehicles in a Virtual Queue

In version 6.1, the amount of time spent by a vehicle in the virtual queue was not considered as part of the delay time. In Aimsun 7 it is added to the delay time on the entrance section, facilitating the comparison between congested scenarios.

New Public Transport statistics

Public Transport statistics for "Vehicles Lost", "Mean Virtual Queue Length" and "Max Virtual Queue Length" are now available after a microscopic simulation.


Speed statistics by lane

Speed output is now available disaggregated by lane.


Number of lane changes by section

There is a new output, which is the number of lane changes by section.


New statistical objects

The statistics gathered after a simulation concerning sections and turnings are now aggregated by Link (that is, a turning with its origin section), Turning movement, Section and Section Lanes. Values can be obtained for these four objects.

New folder to select list of nodes

We have added a folder in the Scenario -> Output -> Details -> Nodes that allows you to select the option for All Nodes or Selected Nodes by choosing the Turns and Nodes option from the Details -> Main tab.


Lost vehicles per node

Aimsun now calculates the number of lost vehicles (vehicles located in a section from which they can no longer reach their destination) and missed turns (vehicles which have not taken their pre-assigned turning movement but which still have the possibility of reaching their destination) in each node.

Vehicle trajectories

There is a new option in the Output tab of the Scenario to save vehicle trajectories during a simulation. To limit the size of the output, it is possible to set conditions to store only the trajectories of a defined percentage of vehicles of a specific type travelling from an origin to a destination:


The trajectory data are stored in the output database in two tables: One table contains global information for each vehicle: Vehicle ID, entrance time, exit time, total travel time, total delay time. The other table contains section by section information: Vehicle ID, Section ID, section index in vehicle's path, entrance time in section, exit time from section, travel time on section, delay time on section.

Microscopic simulator improvements

We have integrated the following enhancements into Aimsun's microscopic simulation capabilities:

New behavioural models

We have implemented specific behaviours that aim to improve situations such as weaving sections, on ramp insertion, building up of queues and roundabouts.

New Distance Zone models

The definition of the distance zones are transferred from the level of sections to turning movements. Vehicles in Zone 2 or 3 evaluate traffic conditions to select their target lane (as in Zone 1) within the subset of lanes that are valid for the turning movement. In previous versions of Aimsun, the Distance Zones and the Distance On Ramp were set as a time and internally converted to a distance using the desired speed of each vehicle. Now they are set in distance units:


Variability from vehicle to vehicle has been introduced by means of a uniform distribution from which you can define the amplitude in the Experiment.

Improved Car-Following, Lane-Changing and Gap-Acceptance models

We have refined the implementation of the Gipps Car-Following to avoid unstable regimes unless instabilities are triggered by imprudent lane changing (if this is what you have specified). We have developed a new lane-changing model that is fully consistent with the Gipps Car-Following model and facilitates mandatory lane changes via cooperation between vehicles. We have introduced a new cooperation parameter at the section level.

New Turning Speed formula

We have modified the formula for computing the turning speed. We have increased the friction coefficient to raise the automatic speed values.

Two micro entities accepting more than one conflict

The Advanced Node Editor can now manage 2 or more conflicts for a pair of entities.


Changes in pre-emption

For Fixed Controls the Minimum Dwell was previously ignored in the calculations. In Aimsun 7, Minimum Dwell is taken into account in both the Fixed and Actuated Controls. In Aimsun 6.1, the Inhibit Time was counted from the first instance of delay and affected the first part of the delay interval. In Aimsun 7 it now only affects the last part of the delay.

Mesoscopic simulator improvements

We have integrated the following enhancements into Aimsun's mesoscopic simulation capabilities:

Entrance sections and discrete choice model

The virtual queues are now more uniform; Aimsun now takes the number of vehicles assigned to a virtual queue into account when deciding the entrance section.


Green Time and Delay meterings are now available in a mesoscopic simulation.

Traffic Management actions applied to segments

In the previous versions, traffic management actions applied to specific segments of a section were extended to the whole section in a mesoscopic simulation. Now Aimsun takes the segments into account.

Actuated control

Actuated control is now available in a mesoscopic simulation.


Path Assignment Result file as input in DUE

You can now use a Path Assignment file as input data for a mesoscopic DUE replication. You can set it in the Scenario, Main tab:

Two new statistics in mesoscopic simulation

Aimsun can now calculate delay by lane and maximum queue length statistics during a mesoscopic simulation.

Travel and delay time for nodes and turnings

You can now see the turning travel time and delay time by double-clicking on a turning in a node and selecting the appropriate data in the time series.


Macroscopic model improvements

Aimsun 7 enjoys improved assignments results (link analysis). The traversal is now multi-user and we have restructured the adjustment, along with new features, into an experiment and scenario in order to prepare it for multiple user classes. From version 7 onwards we will be introducing the user-class concept, which consists of a vehicle-purpose pair. We have integrated the following enhancements into Aimsun's macroscopic simulation capabilities:

Traversal calculation from the assignment results

You now calculate the Traversal by right-clicking on a sub-network and selecting which macroscopic experiment to use. Therefore it is calculated a posteriori, using the assignment results: if an assignment with active path calculation has already been executed, you can now use the results without having to run the assignment again. In addition, the traversal is now multi-user as it is no longer called from a single matrix but from an assignment experiment with a traffic demand.

Renaming of Macro Scenario

We have changed the term "Macro Scenario" to "Macro Assignment Scenario" to differentiate it from a "Macro Adjustment Scenario".

Adjustment changes

You can now execute the Adjustment from a Macro Adjustment Experiment in a Macro Adjustment Scenario. At present, only the first matrix in the Traffic Demand is adjusted, but the Adjustment will be multi-user in the final release of Aimsun 7. We


have introduced several features, available at the scenario level, in order to add more control to the Adjustment.

Adjustment using weights for detection data

Weights are now taken into account during the adjustment process. In the Real Data Sets, the Reliability field has been added to include this information.

Total generation and attraction values from the original matrix also have weights, which are specified at the Macro Adjustment Scenario level.


Other adjustment parameters

In the Macro Adjustment Scenario, you can introduce a list of congested sections for which detection values will only be used in the adjustment when the assigned values are lower than the observed value (in congested sections, demand is higher than observed detection). You can also select the cells of the matrix that you wish to maintain with no change throughout the adjustment, called Frozen Cells.


Link Analysis

A new view mode is available for visualising the volume through a certain group of sections (where its width is proportional to its volume). From the tab Path Assignment of a finished Macro Assignment Experiment you can tick the Link Analysis box to see this visualisation.


3. Platform improvements

Support for multi-network projects

In this version we have introduced several features that allow you to work with several Aimsun networks belonging to the same projects. 1) Revisions 2) The possibility of retrieving data from an external replication into an Aimsun model. 3) A multimodel feature that allows you to open two Aimsun networks at the same time. All these features are detailed below. Revisions In this version we have introduced the notion of Revisions. You can access this feature from Project > New Revision, as shown below:

Revisions give you the opportunity to create a modification of the network you are currently working on and storing only the changes. A revision will contain all the objects in the base network (except the ones specifically removed in the revision), the new objects created in the revision and the modifications done to the base objects. Afterwards, it will be possible to modify the base network, incorporating those changes automatically into the revision.

You can also consolidate a revision so that it becomes an independent network that can later have its own revision.


Loading external replications from a database You can now retrieve data from an external replication into an Aimsun model. By external replication we mean a replication not belonging to the Aimsun model currently being edited but to a different one inside the same project, for example, with a set of changes in geometry. Multimodel Aimsun 7 can now open two files at the same time. A separate view is created when you open two networks, as shown below:

The Project window shows which project is active. You make the project active simply by clicking on it.

New task box area


Aimsun 7 includes a centralised notification and control area for the active task, which eliminates the need for the pop-ups that were used in previous versions of Aimsun.

Experiment control

In Aimsun 7 we have introduced a specific area where the last experiment to be executed is shown. This area allows you to easily identify the experiment you are currently working with as well as giving you access to the most common operations such as Simulate, Execute and Properties.


New Inspector Window

You can now change several attributes of a graphical selection at once. Go to Window > Windows > Inspector and a window will pop up showing the attributes of the currently selected object as seen in the images below.


New Subpath object

We have introduced a new Subpath object: - Older networks opened with statistical streams are now converted to subpaths - The micro and meso statistics saved for the streams are now saved for the subpaths - OD routes that were used as subpaths during a rerouting action are now under the Subpath folder

Number of objects in a layer shown in the Table View

You can now see the number of objects contained in a layer from the Table View.


Comparison of Time Series with different number of elements

In a Time Series Viewer in Aimsun 7 it is now possible to show two time series in the same plot even when they have a different number of elements. The missing elements will be reconstructed with linear interpolation. In the image below for example we have the count of two replications that store data every 10 and 15 minutes accordingly.

Easy Hide/Show of Dynamic Labels


The View Menu now has an entry that allows you to view and hide all the dynamic labels at once.

View Controls

In View mode the user can now change the Originator and Vehicle Type using new controls that we have added to the 2D views. It is no longer necessary to have different View modes for different replications or different vehicle types.

View mode updates considering Time Series

If the View mode you are using is based on Time Series, Aimsun 7 updates its View times accordingly.

Extrude Polygon changes

We have renamed the Extrude Polygon function as Extrude. It now affects the whole selection instead of just the polygon target.


User-defined View mode after a simulation

You can now define which View mode you want to activate as the default after a simulation.

New procedure to create a View Style showing attributes

We have changed the way of drawing the value of an attribute. In the new View Style Editor you now have to define a Style of type Attribute then select the Attribute and the label size.


Colour individual lanes with a View Style

If a View Style references an output by lane, it colours individual lanes of a section based on the values of their statistics.

Modifying colour and drawing of a reserved lane

You can now change the colour and/or drawing of a reserved lane from the Lane Type Attributes. This allows you to adjust the appearance of the reserved lanes according to country specifics.


Traffic management action editor improvements

We have unified the editors for the different traffic management actions (Lane Closure, Turning Closure, Speed Change, Force Turning, Re-routing and Control Plan). They now clearly show what they do, where they are going to be applied and which objects are going to be affected. For example, the Force Turning dialog:


Improved Table View

In the Table View when you click on an object ID, Aimsun will pan to this object. Also, when you double-click on the object ID, its editor comes up.


You can now also sort the Table View columns by Values, as shown below.

Time Series treatment

You now have easier access to the time series in the Time Series Viewer and in the Time Series Editor for objects, as Aimsun 7 disaggregates the time series by statistic, vehicle type and the replication/experiment that originated the data.


Reordering of frames in the Dynamic bookmarks

In the Dynamic Bookmark Editor you can now change the order of the frames (up and down).


Join Polylines Command

You can now join a selection of Polylines when there is less than five metres' difference between the end and the start vertex.

Alphabetical listing of View Modes

The View Mode names are now alphabetically sorted in their drop-down box.

Profile folder in the Demand Editor

We have added a folder with the demand profile in the Demand Editor, as shown below. It displays information in the form of a histogram, with a bar for every demand matrix.

Summary and Profile with variable factors

When you define a demand factor as a variable at experiment level, the Traffic Demand Summary and Profile tabs show a combo box that allows you to choose the experiment. 36

Cost functions definition using Python

You can now use Python to define all types of functions for calculating the link costs for the dynamic simulators and the VDF and TPF for macro. Python functions are more flexible and have access to any attributes.


4. New interfaces and importers

Aimsun now seamlessly includes ­ or can import data from ­ the following programs and applications.

Open Street Map

You can start a new project importing a map from Open Street Maps. To do this go to the New Project tab and zoom in at the place of interest.

To complete the importation select Import Map from Internet and click on Create.

The OSM Importer dialog box will then come up as shown below:


If Import Highways: As a Network is selected, the importer produces a draft Aimsun network.


5. Programming

API access to the adaptive control plan parameters

Aimsun Micro API can now access and modify the adaptive control parameters.

New function - AKIEstGetInstantVirtualQueueSection

We have added a new function for obtaining the total number of vehicles in the virtual queue of a particular section.

External script storing

Double-click on a script and under Settings you can now find the option for storing scripts outside Aimsun.

Python script drag and drop

When dropping a script inside the Aimsun window, Aimsun creates a script pointing to the external file.

New command - Multidel

We have added the command GKObjectDelMultipleCmd to delete X objects at once. multidelcmd=model.getCommander().getMultiDelCmd() multidelcmd.add(objectdelcmd1) multidelcmd.add(objectdelcmd2) multidelcmd.add(objectdelcmdN) multidelcmd.doit()

New options using command line

Load a file: -project Aimsun_FILE Execute a script (you cannot use this with any other option): -script PYTHON_FILE


Execute a command (execute, play...) on target (required): -cmd COMMAND The target for the execution command: -target OBJECT_ID Program a Stop At for the next interactive micro simulation: -stop_at H:MM:SS



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