Introduction to MOTUS
Welcome to the MOTUS gateway!
What is MOTUS
MOTUS is an open-source microscopic traffic simulation package that was developed in java. It is especially aimed at reasearchers that need full knowledge of everything in simulation as well as the ability to extend the capabilities with new technologies, algorithms or models.
Why MOTUS was developed
MOTUS was developed for the following reasons:
1) Researchers need full understanding and control over the simulation tools they use. Nothing is as frustrating as not getting the right behaviour from your model, only to find out two weeks later that it is caused by a part of the simulation tool that is shielded from the user. Many simulation tools that offer the ability to implement your own models are basically black-boxes.
2) Many design decisions are made when creating a simulation framework. For MOTUS there has been a focus on minimizing the number of decisions about traffic operations. For example, MOTUS will not force lane changes at the last moment before a lane drop. Existing simulation tools often do this as deleting vehicles appears more unrealistic. However, it becomes difficult to see what causes lane changes (the lane change model, or the simulation framework?).
3) Microscopic simulation can become complex quite fast. Simple single-lane experiments can be performed in more well-known tools by researchers such as Matlab. However, any multi-lane network can become quite complex, error prone and sluggish. By providing a simulation framework in the object-oriented language java, researchers can be sure to have a working and fast simulation environment. Researchers can focus on parts of microscopic simulation that is of interest for their research.
4) New technologies, algorithms and models are developed every day. A simulation tool can never keep up with all these developements. Therefore, a simulation tool should be extendable, but also replaceable. A model developed in java inherently provides these functionalities. Java classes can be extended by new java classes. All functionalities of the existing java class remain, making sure that interaction with the rest of the simulation environment remains valid. New functionalities can be added to the new class and existing functionalities may be overridden.
5) Many researchers are familiar with Matlab for tasks such as model calibration, data analysis, data plotting etc. MOTUS is programmed in java which easily integrates in Matlab. MOTUS is not supplied with an extensive GUI for such tasks, as no default GUI can be developed for an extendable research tool. At the moment, MOTUS is only supplied with a visualisation GUI.
6) The simulation tool has been developped with all of the above in mind for a research project into the effects of in-car advice on traffic flow. Functionalities of this system are developed as an add-on to the MOTUS core.
Contents of this gateway
On this gateway you can find how you can use MOTUS for your own research. To get started you are adviced to have a look at the Overview of MOTUS. Once you get the main picture of MOTUS, you can have a look how you can use and extend it. The graphical user interface (GUI) is presented in the GUI section and a toolbox which helps you create a model and network is presented in the Network Builder section. The next sections Drivers and RSUs and Example: matrix sign can further increase your understanding. Full details of all the java classes can first of all be found in the source code, but you are also encouraged to use the API section which describes the classes and all their properties and methods in standard java documentation style. Finally, the Debugging and profiling section tells you how you can debug and profile java code called from Matlab using the free NetBeans java integrated development environment (IDE).