The Use of Linked Spreadsheets as a Transportation Problem Solving Tool

by Syed F. Hussain, Bellomo-McGee, Inc, Vienna, United States,
Sarath C. Joshua, Bellomo-McGee, Inc, Vienna, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Microcomputers in Transportation


Spreadsheet modeling is a useful tool for business as well as engineering applications. Until the advent of linked spreadsheets this type of modeling was based on the concept of preparing one model which sometimes uses information from other spreadsheets by using macro commands. This concept sometimes results in very large and cumbersome spreadsheet models. The ability of linking multiple spreadsheets, recently introduced by major spreadsheet developers, opens up a new realm of possibilities for spreadsheet design. The ability to link several spreadsheets can be used to make data in the primary spreadsheet dependent upon data from other supporting spreadsheets. By using this ability it is now possible to prepare one consolidated model that is linked with multiple supporting spreadsheets and yet keep it simple and manageable for the end user. This paper illustrates the utility of linked spreadsheets in solving problems related to transportation and traffic engineering. The ability to use linked spreadsheets as a tool to build and use models for analyzing complex problems is demonstrated through examples. In these examples, each linked spreadsheet describes a self contained model that interacts with sub-models through the linkage. The main worksheet acts as the primary user interface. The examples show applications in safety evaluation of alternative highway alignment designs and traffic impact analysis involving multiple land use.

Subject Headings: Spreadsheets | Traffic engineering | Highway and road design | Traffic analysis | Transportation engineering | Traffic safety | Traffic models

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