Modeling Transportation and Traffic in India

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 10:00am to 11:00am PDT
Dr. V. Thamizh Arasan, Professor & Head, Transportation Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Modeling transportation basically involves development of relationship between the demand for transportation and the land-use, socio-economic and transportation system characteristics. The Indian socio-economic and transportation system characteristics are highly complex and wide ranging and hence, formulation and quantification of appropriate causal variables for modeling is a challenging task. The first part of the talk will focus on this aspect. The traffic on Indian roads is highly heterogeneous and the vehicles move on the roads without any lane or queue discipline. Hence, the commonly adopted procedure to model lane based traffic flow is not applicable for modeling this type of traffic comprising vehicles of wide ranging static and dynamic characteristics. The approach to modeling of this type of traffic flow is distinctly different. An appropriate methodology for modeling heterogeneous traffic flow has recently been developed at Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the same be will discussed in the second part of the presentation.

Dr. V. Thamizh Arasan, Professor and Head, Transportation Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India, has been involved in teaching, research and consultancy, in the area of Transportation Engineering for the past two and a half decades. Traffic Simulation and Travel Demand Modeling are the areas of his research interest, and he has guided several Ph. D. scholars for award of doctoral degree in these specializations. Prof. Arasan, as first author, has published a total of more than 90 research papers in refereed foreign and Indian journals and in International and national conference Proceedings. Three of his research papers, published in journals, have received the “Best Research Paper” award. Prof. Arasan, as student, was a high-end performer, and obtained the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering and Master of Engineering degree in Transportation Engineering through the University of Madras by passing the examinations with distinction. He obtained his doctorate degree in Transportation Engineering through IIT Madras. Prof. Arasan, as Principal Coordinator, has been involved in several sponsored research projects both at national and international levels. The notable among them are: (1) Indo-German collaborative research project on, “Development of Appropriate Transport System Planning Techniques for Indian Conditions” funded by Volks Wagen Foundation of Germany. (2) Indo-German collaborative research project on, “Enhancing the Level of Safety at Traffic Signals” funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Government of Germany. (3) Research project on, “Modelling Heterogeneous Traffic Flow on Urban Roads and Development of Capacity Standards” funded by MHRD, Government of India. Prof. Arasan has been conducting a number of short-term courses and national and international conferences on a regular basis, and the recent one is an international conference on, “Transportation Systems Planning and Operation” held during February 2004 at IIT Madras. On invitation, Prof. Arasan has served as Guest Professor at the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria. He has also given more than 100 guest lectures in various universities in India and abroad. Prof. Arasan is a life member of several professional bodies, and has served in several technical committees dealing with traffic and transportation, both at national and international levels. He has chaired a number of technical sessions in national and international conferences. Prof. Arasan, currently, is the Chairman of the Institute of Urban Transport (India), Chennai Regional chapter. Prof. Arasan has visited more than fourteen other countries for professional work, the notable among them being Germany, UK, USA, Austria, Australia, Canada and France.