Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively

D2.2 – NOVIMOVE transport model architecture and data collection

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Executive Summary

In this deliverable, the architecture of the NOVIMOVE simulation model is developed. In addition, the necessary data for the model is structured and collected. The system boundary for each of the actors was developed in D.2.1. In the same deliverable, also the required data needed for the model were identified. Finally, the first deliverable also developed the KPIs, which should be computed by the NOVIMOVE transport model. Based on these insights and requirements the first draft version of the NOVIMOVE model is developed.

The verification and the validation of the model are done in Task 2.3, which will result in Deliverable 2.3. This model will contain a data input such as seaport terminals, waterways, including locks, bridges and water level fluctuations, inland terminals, roads, railways, and distribution centres. The proposed elements will be modelled based on the requirements set by Deliverable 2.1. Next to that the actual cargo volume transported on the Rhine-Alpine corridor, along with the modal split and the cargo type composition of the container being currently transported along the corridor will be used in the model. All of these data are used as inputs in the transport cost and time module.

The data collection process was a complex process. The data comes from many sources, and it is not always available at the desired level of detail. Some countries collect certain information, and others do not, and the data format for the same type of parameters may differ. It was, therefore, necessary in some cases to make assumptions to make data comparable and to fill in the missing information. The data files are stored on the MS Teams folder and will be stored according to the FAIR approach mentioned in Deliverable 6.1.

Next to the collection of the data for the model, also the links (plugins) to the NOVIMOVE innovations are created. The main NOVIMOVE simulation model also needs to deal with the NOVIMOVE innovations that are going to be developed in WP2, WP3, and WP4. These innovations are going to impact different sub-models in the main NOVIMOVE simulation.

The main simulation architecture is built up from different sub-models (cost and time, mode choice, and assignment) which are embedded in the main model:

  • For the cost & time sub-model, the cost and times are calculated for three modes (road, rail, and IWT). This is also done from the perspective of three actors (barge operators, terminal operators, and shippers).
  • In the mode choice model, the generalized costs have been used to determine the mode choice as it will be more convenient to use regarding the interactions with the other sub-models. Next to the generalized cost also the train departure frequency and the population density are included as extra determinates to estimate the mode choice.
  • Regarding the assignment model, information about existing services and the network representation is used for IWT, but not for road and rail as their network is modelled only at a high abstraction level. Therefore, the assignment procedure for these two modes is performed by the use of heuristics.

The main simulation model will be built from different components. First, the scenarios need to be defined (network configuration) along with the composition of the Origin Destination matrix of the container transports. At the start of a simulation run, the model sends initialization details to the sub-models, such as network characteristics and details about the services offered for the modalities. When the initialization is done, a repetitive cycle is activated where cargo information is passed to the sub-models (cost and time, mode choice, and assignment).

When the initialization is completed, and the first cycle of cargo information is retrieved by the sub-models, the modality split for the cargo is determined by the mode choice sub-model given the input parameters that are calculated by the cost and time sub-models. When the modality split is executed, the assignment model then takes this information and will generate transports for IWT, road, and rail. These transports are then sent – per modality – to the simulation model: the Transport requests. After the transport requests are executed by the simulation model, the NOVIMOVE KPIs will be calculated.

D2.2 – NOVIMOVE transport model architecture and data collection
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