Simulation of Waterway Transport Systems

by Joseph L. Carroll,
Michael S. Bronzini,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 3, Pg. 527-539

Document Type: Journal Paper


Computer simulation is a useful tool for investigating alterative improvements to inland waterways. This paper summarizes the Penn State research and the resulting model. The simulation program itself consists of two parts. The first part (TOWGEN) uses linear programming techniques to determine the O-D pattern of empty barge movements. It then randomly samples the appropriate O-D and flotilla configuration matrices to produce a list of tows having specified characteristics. The clock time at which each tow enters the system is selected randomly, assuming an exponential distribution of interarrival times. The second part of the program (WATSIM) processes the tows through the system, moving each tow from its origin port to its destination. Point to point travel times are computed by means of Howe's equilibrium speed function. Locking operations are simulated via Monte Carlo techniques. The paper concludes by presenting some possible guidelines for employing the model as one part of a comprehensive waterway systems planning methodology.

Subject Headings: Waterways | Computer models | Travel time | Inland waterways | Linear functions | Computer programming | Barges | Matrix (mathematics) | Monaco | Europe

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