This first subject specifies the main model structure of the four-step transport model and discusses main concepts such as zones, networks, periods, trip purposes and modes. Second topic in this subject is related to data and especially to choice modelling, as this is major tool in transport modelling.
A preparation it is recommended to read a brief essay on modelling in general, see , and to have a good look at the information Transport for London is providing on their strategic modelling tool kit.
The essay shows you that modelling is a lot more than predicting the future, and that it requires a critical attitude.
The Transport for London website gives a nice illustration of for what kind of problems transport and land use models are used for and how the various model types relate to each other. Furthermore, it provides some graphics that give insight in model size and model outputs. What it doesn’t show however is how these models work: that’s is the topic we’ll discuss in this course!
As you can see in the Transport for London documents, their models use zones as a basic unit (see e.g. the LonLUTI-pages) and they use various types of networks (e.g. the LTS-pages). Furthermore a distinction is made in what are often called model dimensions, such as trip purposes, modes and time periods. All of these were defined before building the actual model. Question for you is, to think of criteria that might be used to define zones, to select the network to be included in the model, and to determine the model dimensions.