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Lists in Vissim offer a powerful way to edit network and other objects. In addition to the obvious functionality here are some more features:
Vissim includes a variety of editing functionality. Editing an attribute of several network object at once is also possible as long as only objects of the same type are selected. There are two easy ways to accomplish this (the example is shown for "Links"):
Now, in the Quick View sidebar, the attributes of the multi-selection are listed (attributes marked with an * share different values). To assign a new value to all selected objects, simply type/choose the desired value in the field next to the attribute.
The new option "Vehicle routing decisions look ahead" is available in the driving behavior parameters. If set, it enables vehicles to anticipate an upcoming static routing decision on the destination link of their current static route. The route to be used from this upcoming decision is selected already when the vehicle passes the previous static routing decision, and that route is considered for the lane choice continuously. A routing decision must have the flag "Combine static routing decisions" set to activate this behavior.
Have you ever felt like copying a modelled node from a previous project or a different part of the network rather than starting from scratch? No problem, PTV Vissim 7 offers two ways: With the Copy/Paste functionality you can copy any multiselection of links/connectors and areas along with the objects placed on top of them. With the "Read Additionally" functionality, you may import data from an existing inpx file and select which objects you would like to import. In both cases, after pasting and while the multiselection is still active, you can also rotate the pasted objects using ALT plus left mouse drag.
Surely you came across a situation in network coding where you wanted to add a new network object with the same values as an already defined one (e.g. when coding speeds in your Vissim network).
This is the ideal application for the duplicate functionality: Simply drag the desired object with the mouse while holding down the Ctrl key and place it at the position where it should be added. The newly created object now contains the identical attribute values as the original one.
The following options are provided for links and connectors with a thickness > 0:
You can also change link attributes simultaneously for all links/connectors of the same display type: right click in the list of display types and choose "Multi-Select in network". Close the dialog with ok and right click the "Link Attributes (Multiselection)" dialog.
For realistic display of signal heads PTV Vissim offers a wide selection of 3D signal displays for various applications. Besides many configurations for "normal" traffic display it includes specific signal pictures for bikes, pedestrians and public transport. Even digital counters are included.
A new 3D signal head is generated in 2D mode by pressing "New 3D signal" inside the signal head dialog. An existing 3D signal head can be edited in the following ways:
Inside the 3D signal head dialog you can edit all options including the signal head position, signal group assignment, signal picture and mast/arm measurements. You can also add additional signal heads and/or traffic signs to the mast.
You can use more than one image file as VISSIM background, e.g. multiple tiles of aerial photographs or different layers of information from a CAD file. Any additional image file will be displayed on top of the other backgrounds (if the positions overlap). You can also toggle the background display using Ctrl-B while they are loaded. Finally all backgrounds currently visible are also stored in the settings file (*.INI) along with the current zoom factor.
For 3D recordings from VISSIM with a very shallow view angle (nearly parallel to the background) you may experience a loss in resolution of the images ("boxed appearance") that increases with a growing distance from the camera position. This behaviour is caused by the graphics card - usually to increase the performance. However, to keep the details in the background image you can enable the "Anisotropic filtering" option in your graphics card settings. Typically there are multiple factors available, e.g. from 2x to 16x. The higher the value, the more details of the image will be retained in the distance.
Please note that you need to restart VISSIM in order for the graphics card settings to become effective.
During a VISSIM pedestrian simulation run, press Ctrl-Q once to enable the display of aggregated values. Then press Ctrl-L repeatedly to browse through all available LOS definitions (the corresponding name is displayed in the status bar). Press Ctrl-Q twice to return to normal view.
You can also define your own color codes to any of these LOS definitions and even define your own class boundaries in a customizable LOS configuration here: "View - Options - tab "Pedestrians" - option "Aggregated values" - button "Configuration".
There are occasions where it happens that vehicles "drive through the back" of other vehicles as they do not have reached the new lane completely after a lane change. If you find that happens too often, you can enable the driving behavior parameter "Observe vehicles on next lane(s)". Even when lateral movements within a lane are not permitted this option tells VISSIM to regard the exact position of the rear ends of vehicles during or after a lane change to adjacent lanes.
As there is no medal with one side only: please note that this option might cut down flow capacity unrealistically as in reality it often happens that vehicles bypass the partially blocking vehicles.
While recording an AVI file from within VISSIM you should always enable anti-aliasing for a smoother appearance of the 3D scenes, especially in high contrast areas. There are two options:
Most of you surely know VISSIMs keyframe functionality to provide a storybook for 3D AVI video files. But did you know that apart from the viewing position you can also alter the focal length like in most cameras? CTRL + PgUp increases the focal length (-> telephoto lens) while CTRL + PgDn decreases it (-> wide-angle lens). The status bar shows the current focal length and displays the corresponding horizontal viewing angle in brackets. The focal length is also stored with each keyframe.
See below a scene viewed with 4 different focal lengths but all from the same camera position.
Pedestrian network models allow for a performance gain if two or more destinations (or intermediate destinations) are located close to each other but far away from their identical starting point. The illustration aside shows an example (for clarity reasons the example shows compressed dimensions): The route origin is on the red area and the green areas are the destinations. The red area could also be a intermediate cross section common to these routes.
All areas are located on the same level, so the potential field is computed completely for each one of the 4 routes. Since the route path is identical for most parts of all routes, it is not necessary to compute the identical route portions more than once. This can be achieved by a suitable level "split":
If you are using dynamic potentials in your network, a level split limits the extent of the dynamic potential (i.e. the calculation of the potential field stops at ramps). This usually leads to a considerable performance gain with the drawback of the range limitation.
When switching from multi-monitor display back to a single monitor it may happen that some evaluation windows are not visible (it does not happen to dialog windows). Then the VISSIM.INI configuration file contains screen locations outside the current window scope.
There are two options to bring them back to the main screen:
Note: option B works for all application windows, not only VISSIM.
If it is necessary to shorten a link and at the same time keep its exact direction, please proceed as follows:
You may have encountered situations where changes in the road design require a different number of lanes within the same link. Therefore, VISSIM links can be split: While in link mode, go to "Edit - Split Link" or simply press "F8". Then click the mouse button at the position within the link where the number of lanes changes. The link is now split into two, which means that for each of the links the number of lanes can be defined differently. A connector at the split position is generated by default.
While editing a VISSIM network you may encounter situations where several links/connectors (or pedestrian areas) overlap. It can be difficult at times to initially activate the desired object for editing. Therefore, VISSIM offers the "Tab" functionality: Pressing "Tab" loops through all links/connectors or pedestrian areas at the click position. Alternatively you may also use the corresponding toolbar button (circular arrow).
During the simulation it can be helpful to know which links/connectors a vehicle will take. This information can be displayed in the "Vehicle Information" window: Go to "Evaluations - Windows - Vehicle Information" and simply add "Routing Sequence" to the list of selected parameters. By doing so, you will see the complete route sequence of the vehicle until it leaves the network.
VISSIM network files (*.INP) can be opened by dragging them from the Windows Explorer directly into the main VISSIM window (Drag and Drop). This network will then automatically load in VISSIM by replacing the current network file. Also layout files (*.INI) can be opened using Drag and Drop. Here the current VISSIM network file remains open.
During network editing it is often helpful to discern several display types for different link/area types. However, when it comes to simulation in 3D, you might want to have a more realistic appearance: By pressing Ctrl-T the display of links/connectors and pedestrian areas toggles between global color and display type specific color (similar as the setting in View - Options - Color).
Do you want to place a static 3D model at exact heights or rotations? So to the 3D model selection dialog and enter the desired values for elevation and rotation. Hint: "Rotate (XY)" corresponds to the "normal" on ground rotation.
Some network elements and evaluations refer to the North direction of your network. To view your current setting, toggle the compass by View - Options - Network - option "Compass" (or shortcut Ctrl-M - sometimes a screen refresh is needed here).
In addition, you can change the North direction in 2D mode by double clicking inside the compass and rotating it using mouse drag.
VISSIM offers an auto-spline functionality to easily smoothen the curvature of links and connectors. This is not only possible at creation time but also for exisiting objects:
In link mode, hold down the ALT key, click with the mouse in the start section and drag the mouse to the destination section that you want to modify.
Then a dialog window opens where you can define the intermediate spline points to be created and whether or not you would like to keep the existing intermediate points. When closing the window, the curvature is created as desired.
VISSIM allows for vehicles to be overtaken not only if a link has 2 or more lanes but also within the same lane! This is in addition to having various vehicle classes with different driving behavior traveling in the same lane (as described in the last newsletter):
Go to "Base Data - Driving Behavior" and activate the tab "Lateral". Here the free flow position and overtake details may be defined for each vehicle class separately. It allows even to model vehicles slowing down due to narrow passing space: Use different values for the min. lateral distance for standstill and moving vehicles.
Display types define the appearance of links, connectors and pedestrian areas. When using textures, two options help to adjust the appearance to your liking:
Typically the links/connectors in VISSIM are colored using the color defined in the corresponding display type. However, for special applications, this color can be overruled by the settings in "View - Options" on the tab "Colors": Choose a different color for "Links" and deactivate the option "Use display type colors". Then all links/connectors will be drawn with the selected color. Furthermore, next to "Marking" a second color may be defined for links/connectors with special attributes such as gradient, lane closure, link evaluation etc. This feature is especially useful for trouble-shooting.
There are situations were certain vehicle classes need a different driving behavior while travling in the same link, e.g. if bicycles and cars travel in the same lane. In VISSIM you may accomplish this task by using link behavior types: Go to "Base Data - Link Behavior Types" and create a new link behavior type. On the right hand side, add one or more additional data rows and link a vehicle class with the desired driving behavior parameter set.
During a simulation run all relevant vehicle information may be displayed in a dedicated text window - even for several vehicles simultaneously (one window per vehicle): In 2D single step mode double click on the desired vehicle and a vehicle information window opens. The parameters shown in that window can be configured by "Evaluation - Windows - Vehicle Information". Furthermore, the position and size of these information windows may be stored in a layout file (*.ini). Hence you can easily restore the windows layout and also use it in other projects.
Would you like to see your VISSIM simulation from a driver's seat perspective? No problem: Activate the 3D graphics mode, double click on the desired vehicle and continue the simulation. Immediately the virtual camera is attached to this vehicle and travels through the VISSIM network. To return to the previous 3D view, simply close the corresponding vehicle information window.
The editor of the pedestrian module includes several keyboard shortcuts that simplify generation and editing of construction elements. For example, you can copy an element simply by moving it with the mouse to the new position while you hold down the Ctrl key. As soon as you release the mouse button, a copy of the existing element will be generated.
In order to restrict the mouse movement while generating or editing a construction element, hold down the Shift key: Now you can move an element (or its corner/edge) along the horizontal, vertical or 45-degree-diagonal axis. This also works in combination with the Ctrl key so that you can align exactly any copies of construction elements.
Surely you know the method of starting VISSIM straight away with an INP file. However, did you know that this is possible also for INI files as well? Using a link in Windows Explorer you may pass along an INP file name as well as an INI file name in the following way:
Vissim.exe "KA_3D.inp" -b"layout.ini"
(depending on your settings the paths of the file names need to be included as well) Thus you have triggered an efficient 3-in-1-step process: VISSIM is opened, the INP file is loaded and the settings/layout of the INI file are established.
New since VISSIM 5.10-06 is the feature that upon opening an INI file that contains a position of a background image all previously loaded background images are closed.
Sometimes you may want to change all links/connectors of a certain type, e.g. to color code behavior types or to synchronize display and behavior types. Therefore a new command "Multi-select in network" is included in the local menu of the type lists (Base Data - Display Types resp. Behavior Types). As soon as you select this command, all links/connectors belonging to that type are multi-selected. This selection stays active after the dialog is closed.
For large networks also large background images might be used. Opening these images may take some time due to file size - especially in 3D graphics mode. For better feedback to the user there is an option to split the image in small portions (tiles): View - Options [Colors] - 3D Background Resolution offers an additional option called "Tiles". If activated, the image is loaded tile by tile.
At junctions often there is an overlap of links and connectors. Here are some hints in order to simplify the creation and management of the conflict areas in VISSIM: