SimCity 4 Devotion

SimCity 4 Devotion Custom Content Showcase => Network Addon Mod (NAM) => NAM Traffic Simulator, Data Views, and TSCT (Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool) => Topic started by: z on January 18, 2009, 05:24:20 PM

Title: NAM Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on January 18, 2009, 05:24:20 PM
The NAM Traffic Simulator

The NAM Traffic Simulator is a traffic simulator that is derived from the original Maxis traffic simulator, but is also built upon the knowledge gained from all previous NAM traffic simulators, including work by the7trumpets, Tropod, jplumbley, Mott, and z.  It uses the Simulator Z core; what makes it a unified simulator is that it makes available to the player all the main features found in all previous traffic simulators.  What makes this possible is the Traffic Simulator Customization Tool (TSCT), which can be used to customize the NAM Simulator in any of these ways, and it also allows the ordinary player to safely customize the traffic simulator in ways that were not possible previously.  The TSCT is available as an option in the NAM installer when the option "I want to build a custom simulator" is chosen; it is also available as part of the NAM Traffic Subsystem (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2379).

Since the NAM Simulator evolved from Simulator Z, many of the features listed here for the NAM Simulator were also present in various versions of Simulator Z.  However, many of these versions were never released together with the NAM, and so most people will be seeing the features they contained for the first time here.

One of the main areas of the work on the NAM Simulator involved increasing the efficiency of the pathfinder to close to its theoretical maximum.  One of the main ways this was accomplished was by using a much more accurate version of the "perfect pathfinding" heuristic than had been available in previous traffic simulators.  Also, the Sims' maximum commute time was increased to be closer to real-world conditions. These changes allow a smoother distribution of traffic throughout the city, with typically less congestion. At the same time, the congestion that does exist no longer leads to abandonment due to commute time; Sims know that they occasionally have to sit through traffic jams, and are a bit more patient. Better pathfinding also means that Sims act much smarter about finding jobs and routes to them; this also results in less abandonment due to commute time. As in the real world, zones can be farther apart without causing problems; this is especially helpful when building existing cities to scale. Finally, running the pathfinder with near-optimum settings allows the simulator to run up to several times as fast as previous traffic simulators.

The second major area of work on the NAM Simulator involved a more flexible distribution of traffic among the various travel types. In combination with the pathfinder upgrading, this allows buses to be counted toward traffic and congestion, just like all other vehicles. This is a significant change from all previous simulators, and it's an important point to remember when planning your transportation infrastructure. More flexible distribution of traffic also means that the NAM Simulator is much more dynamic about allowing Sims to choose their transportation. In cities with excellent highways and road capacity, car usage has been measured at over six times that of previous simulators. Yet for cities with less extensive road networks and reasonable mass transit, car usage is actually less than in previous traffic simulators.

For those who wish to have a deeper understanding of the principles behind the traffic simulator, A Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulato (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=10261.0)r is recommended. 

Other changes in the NAM Simulator include the following:


The following features are new as of the May 2010 NAM:


There are Park and Ride versions of the NAM Simulator; these can be enabled with the Traffic Simulator Customization Tool, mentioned above.  Park and Ride changes the game slightly so that cars cannot reach their destination directly.  Instead, those Sims who prefer to drive must park near some sort of mass transit station, and then take mass transit to the stop closest to their workplace.  From here, they must walk the rest of the way.  For this to work well, you need to have an extensive mass transit system.  You also need to build parking lots and/or parking garages near key mass transit stops; generally the best places are at the edges of your residential areas that are closest to your jobs.  Or you could just build parking facilities near the Sims' jobs (the ones that come with buildings generally don't count), but this really defeats the main purpose of Park and Ride.  If you choose the Park and Ride version of a simulator, but don't build extra parking facilities, your game will not work very well at all.  I have found RalphaelNinja's Ninja Boulevard Station (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=3194&v=1#) and Ninja Boulevard Kiosk (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=3195&v=1#) to be very useful in general, and particularly useful for Park and Ride, as they both contain large underground garages.  I have enclosed modified lot files for both of these stations at the end of this post; the modifications bring the monthly cost down to be more in line with similar stations, and they also double the capacity, bringing them more in line with RTMT (and making them especially useful for Park and Ride).  Since the exquisite design of these stations must have cost a lot of money, I left the plop cost alone.  Also, since I have enclosed only the lot files, if you don't have these stations already, you'll need to download them from the above links.


What are the different versions of the NAM Simulator, and how are they used?

The NAM Simulator comes in five versions - Classic, Low, Medium, High, and Ultra.  The name of the version refers to the network capacities in the simulator.  The following is a list of the network capacities for each version of the simulator; all capacities are per tile:

NetworkClassicLowMediumHighUltra
Street1001500240036007200
Road120024004000600012,000
Avenue140024004000600012,000
One-way Road180036006000900018,000
Rail300010,00016,00030,00065,200
Subway300010,00016,00030,00065,200
Elevated Rail300010,00016,00030,00065,200
Monorail300010,00016,00030,00065,200
RHW2700600010,00015,00030,000
Highway4000900015,00022,50045,000
Ground Highway4000900015,00022,50045,000

Which simulator version is appropriate for a particular city depends primarily on two things:  the population of the city, and the amount of rapid transit (rails) available.  Less capacity is needed for lower population cities, but less capacity is also required for cities with a lot of rapid transit.  For example, a city of two million Sims has been run quite successfully using the Low capacity version of the NAM Simulator, but it had an extremely extensive subway system.  So pick a simulator version based on these two factors; if it doesn't seem the right capacity, you can always switch it out for a different capacity version.  Experience has shown that in large cities, the effects of such a switch may take up to five years to fully manifest.  You can tell when things have stabilized by looking at the Traffic Volume Graph in the following way:  First, let the game run until there is a sudden shift in traffic patterns.  Sometimes, this may take over a year.  Then run the game until you go at least a full year without any sudden change in traffic patterns.  At that point, the transition to the new capacity simulator is complete.

Installing the NAM Simulator

The NAM Simulator is installed during the NAM installation.  If you've already installed the NAM, you can reinstall the simulator by installing and running the NAM Traffic Subsystem (http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=2379).


Traffic Volume View and Other New Data Views

The Traffic Volume View included with the NAM as of the June, 2009 version offers a number of improvements to the view included with the game.  Rather than the seven shades of blue  in the original, this version uses the full spectrum of color, including approximately 48 distinct  color shades.  The maximum volume shown for each travel type has been increased from a flat 1200 for all types in the originalTraffic Volume View to a value which is 300% of the capacity of the underlying network for the selected travel type.  (Since only one commute period is shown at a time, this is one half of the standard network capacity, which is calculated for a full day.)  The legend has been increased from five to nine entries, and each color in the legend is followed by the percentage of the underlying network capacity that that color represents, as well as the actual number of Sims represented by that percentage.  When a travel type may have more than one underlying network (e.g., cars may travel on streets, roads, or highways), a subtext below the legend indicates which network is being referenced in the display.

The colors in the display have been arranged so that they are more concentrated at lower levels, in order to give finer granularity at lower volumes.  Between volumes of 0% and 10%, colors change about every 1.5%.  Between 10% and 130%, colors change about ever 5%.  And between 130% and 300%, colors change about every 10%.  Please note that while every attempt has been made to attain the greatest accuracy possible, all numbers are somewhat approximate.  The numbers following each color in the legend refer to the approximate beginning of the range of that particular color.

You may notice that starting at 100%, the colors closely follow those in the Traffic Congestion View.  However, it is important to keep in mind the difference between theTraffic Congestion View and the  Traffic Volume View.  The Congestion View is compiled from an entire day's travel statistics, while the Volume View refers to only a single commute period.  Therefore, yellow in a single volume view does not necessarily indicate congestion, and blue or green in a single volume view does not necessarily indicate lack of congestion.  An experienced player may be able to look at both commute periods of certain volume views and get a good idea of congestion, but it is necessary to be careful here.

The Traffic Volume View also includes a new Subway View.  The new Subway View acts in most ways like the normal underground Subway View, which is entered by selecting the Subway Tool when you want to build or demolish subways.  However, it has included in it the volume display feature of the Traffic Volume View, which allows you to see the usage of your subways as you are building (or demolishing) them.  Like the rest of the Traffic Volume View, this view shows the volume of traffic in each subway line visible in the main map, as well as in all subway lines in the minimap.

The last feature included in the Traffic Volume View is a new Subway Building View, which is entered whenever you select a subway station to build.  It differs from the standard Subway Building View in that no buildings other than subway stations are displayed; zones are displayed wherever possible; and like the Subway View, the volume of traffic in each subway line visible in the main map, as well as in all subway lines in the minimap.  In addition, zones and transit station locations are shown in the minimap.Finally, most transit station types light up in all volume views.  This does not indicate anything about usage; it is simply so you can identify them easily.  Certain types of transit stations do not light up because of the way they were designed.

A new Zones view is also included with the NAM.  The new Zones view is identical to the Subway Building View, except that subway volume levels are not displayed.  The new Zones view is currently optional (unlike the other data views described above, so you must select it during the NAM installation if you want to have it installed.

It is strongly recommended that you use the DatPacker (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=4051.msg126833#msg126833) if you have a substantial number of plugins.  This will not only speed up the loading of your game, but it will also great speed up switching back to the normal view from both the Subway Building View and the Zones View.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Shiftred on January 19, 2009, 10:55:55 AM
Hello Z,
I don't know for sure what my issue is here, but I installed Z-Medium as my traffic simulator for NAM 2009.  I started a completely new city with Z-Medium installed prior and my congestion view shows congestion on my networks at very low levels. I have checked my plugins for any congestion view modds and simulator file conflicts and found none.

I replaced the z-medium with A-hard and the congestion view returned to all green very quickly with the same amount of cars when queried.

Z-medium picture:
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on January 19, 2009, 01:12:01 PM
This is the intersection effect, which is detailed above.  The Sims are actually slowing down at some of your busier intersections!  When you see complete green around an intersection, the Sims aren't even taking their foot off the simulated gas pedal as they zip on through.  This is regardless of whether or not you see stop lights there, or the animated cars slow down and stop.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Mad_genius on February 02, 2009, 07:51:19 AM
Hi Z.

I've read your post about the different versions of the simulator z and I would like to try it with the CAM.
Can you give me some advice about the best version to go along with the CAM?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 02, 2009, 02:43:58 PM
It's really the same advice for non-CAM users; base it on the size of your city and the amount of rapid transit.  If you're specifically building a large CAM city with lots of big buildings, I'd recommend using the High simulator; you can always move to Ultra later if you need it.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Mad_genius on February 03, 2009, 02:16:25 AM
Thanks for the tip.

I spent some time to compare your capacities with the capacities provided in the CAM traffic pathfinder and it seems the high version is the one with more similar capacities so i guess i'll try that version has you said.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: retrodude818 on February 06, 2009, 09:39:39 AM
And where might one find this Z simulator for the traffic? I would like to download it!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 06, 2009, 01:12:58 PM
It's in the newly-released NAM.  When you install the NAM, click on the plus sign beside ""Click + to select Traffic Controller Files."  You'll find the various versions of Simulator Z there.  Don't select the Park & Ride versions unless you know what they are and what they do.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: NaliLeader on February 08, 2009, 11:10:05 AM
I have 2 large cities (100,000+) and I have a lot of medium-sized cities.  Which Z simulator should I use? ()what()
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Dexist on February 08, 2009, 01:01:41 PM
hey what is that park and ride then??

and i have intalled a z-simulator

how can i change it?

i have installed lots and lots of other plugins... can i just reinstall nam? and then select another ?

and what simulator is the best to use?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 08, 2009, 03:27:13 PM
Quote from: NaliLeader on February 08, 2009, 11:10:05 AM
I have 2 large cities (100,000+) and I have a lot of medium-sized cities.  Which Z simulator should I use? ()what()

I think I would try high level first, make sure you run the game for about 6 years or so.. and than check
the amount of congestion in all your cities before making a final decision.. You may want to also try
medium level and see what you get.. And please keep us posted on how it went for you..

Thanks, Brian
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 08, 2009, 03:31:16 PM
Quote from: Dexist on February 08, 2009, 01:01:41 PM
hey what is that park and ride then??

and i have intalled a z-simulator

how can i change it?

i have installed lots and lots of other plugins... can i just reinstall nam? and then select another ?

and what simulator is the best to use?

I think unless your a very experienced player.. and you have specific reasons for wanting to try
the park and ride version, I would stay with the standard version.. Although its hard for me to advise
you on a a dfficulty setting without knowing the size of your cities currently and also knowing what
levels of congestions you may have with a given version of traffic sim Z..

Do you have any idea what version of traffic sim Z you have already installed ?

Thanks, Brian
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 08, 2009, 03:44:23 PM
Quote from: Dexist on February 08, 2009, 01:01:41 PM
hey what is that park and ride then??

and i have intalled a z-simulator

how can i change it?

i have installed lots and lots of other plugins... can i just reinstall nam? and then select another ?

and what simulator is the best to use?

sorry dexist.. i forgot to answer this...

No you dont have to re install the entire nam to change to another one of traffic sim z's many versions..
All you have to do is go to your plug in folder in "my documents"... manually take out the current version from the nam folder,... its in the  sub folder  named..."nam traffic  simulator"..

and than replace it with
the version (file) of traffic sim z you want to try out.. You will also want to replace the old volume data view Z file with the appropriate one for the version of Z in which you are replacing...

the name of the files you will want to swap will be something like..

NetworkAddonMod_ traffic_Plugin_Z_ "version name".dat   and

NetworkAddonMod_Volume_data_View_Z_"version".dat

Hope this helps..!

Brian
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 08, 2009, 09:32:13 PM
Quote from: Dexist on February 08, 2009, 01:01:41 PM
hey what is that park and ride then??

Park and Ride changes the game slightly so that cars cannot reach their destination directly.  Instead, those Sims who prefer to drive must park near some sort of mass transit station, and then take mass transit to the stop closest to their workplace.  From here, they must walk the rest of the way.  For this to work well, you need to have an extensive mass transit system.  You also need to build parking lots and/or parking garages near key mass transit stops; generally the best places are at the edges of your residential areas that are closest to your jobs.  Or you could just build parking facilities near the Sims' jobs (the ones that come with buildings generally don't count), but this really defeats the whole purpose of Park and Ride.

Quote
and i have intalled a z-simulator

how can i change it?

i have installed lots and lots of other plugins... can i just reinstall nam? and then select another ?

and i have intalled a z-simulator

how can i change it?

i have installed lots and lots of other plugins... can i just reinstall nam? and then select another ?

and what simulator is the best to use?

Although what Brian said will work, you can also just rerun the NAM installation and choose a different traffic simulator.  As long as all your other choices in the installation are the same, nothing else will change.

For how to choose the best version of the simulator to use, please see the first post on this page. "$Deal"$
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: retrodude818 on February 09, 2009, 02:24:45 PM
Okay folks, I have already installed the new Jan 09 NAM. I want to use the Z simulator, what do I do. I tried to go in and look for the files with the plus sign thing, but then I got lost. Could someone be very nice and give me a "step by step guide for idiots"? Thank you much.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 09, 2009, 03:12:30 PM
You have to choose your traffic simulator during the NAM installation.  Just rerun the installation; there's no harm in doing so.  The "Click + to select Traffic Controller Files" option is near the bottom of the scrollbox in the screen directly after the license agreement.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: NaliLeader on February 11, 2009, 04:10:29 PM
Quote from: b22rian on February 08, 2009, 03:27:13 PM
I think I would try high level first, make sure you run the game for about 6 years or so.. and than check
the amount of congestion in all your cities before making a final decision.. You may want to also try
medium level and see what you get.. And please keep us posted on how it went for you..

Thanks, Brian
I am actually fine using the Ultra, but the capacity seems a little high, High will be fine (for now)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: phillosopherp on February 13, 2009, 04:43:19 AM
just as a quick "get a sense from the devs" if I wanted a more "realistic" experience with my cities should I run the low version of Z on all my cities no matter the size? You maybe the medium? Just want to get your take as I am installing it now.

Thanks for the hard work btw, your previous installments have been amazing!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 13, 2009, 10:57:11 AM
I have tried to make the guidelines in the first post result in a realistic experience for all cities.  So in general, I would suggest starting with them first.  And don't go overboard on your use of subways; real cities tend not to be plastered with them.  Keeping subways to a realistic level will also help the simulator act more realistically in general.  If that still doesn't give you the congestion level you think is appropriate, you can always try the next lower capacity simulator.  But I don't think that there's any "one size fits all" answer here.  Good luck, and thanks for the compliment!  :)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: VeTram on February 13, 2009, 11:03:58 AM
Hi friend z   :)
perhaps you remember me...i just wanted to say that i have started to use into my Metropolis the new NAM with your simulator z , park and ride enabled and low version . From a first glance i must say that you seem to have done a terrific work .. &apls
just wanted you to know that , as i will follow your thread , as soon as i have news..
Friendly  :thumbsup:

oh! i almost forgotten that....is there any parking lots that you suggest for park and ride?
i have already  used my first parking garage , and i saw for first time 89% usage!...but i imagine that i cannot only use parking garages, so what parking lots do you suggest ? 

oh! someth more (as this is my second edit)....i can see big difference in usage of pedestrian mall tiles ...really do you know how far can sims walk ( as i knew that they are willing to walk just only about 6-8 tiles)...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 13, 2009, 01:11:44 PM
Quote from: VeTram on February 13, 2009, 11:03:58 AM
Hi friend z   :)
perhaps you remember me...i just wanted to say that i have started to use into my Metropolis the new NAM with your simulator z , park and ride enabled and low version . From a first glance i must say that you seem to have done a terrific work .. &apls
just wanted you to know that , as i will follow your thread , as soon as i have news..
Friendly  :thumbsup:

I certainly do remember you.  Thanks for the appreciation!

Quote
oh! i almost forgotten that....is there any parking lots that you suggest for park and ride?
i have already  used my first parking garage , and i saw for first time 89% usage!...but i imagine that i cannot only use parking garages, so what parking lots do you suggest ? 

This is a common question, so I added a section addressing it in the Park and Ride part of the first post.  It's the part about RaphaelNinja's 5-way stations, which include large underground parking garages.  I've included links to the originals, along with versions specially modified for Simulator Z.  (They work with other simulators as well, though.)  Unfortunately, most plain parking lots have a fairly low capacity, which is realistic.

Quote
oh! someth more (as this is my second edit)....i can see big difference in usage of pedestrian mall tiles ...really do you know how far can sims walk ( as i knew that they are willing to walk just only about 6-8 tiles)...

Sims can walk as far as they want in Simulator Z.  This is actually realistic, as a large tile is only 4 km on a side, and a healthy person can walk that distance in well under an hour.  But they'll still use other transit when it's available, since it's faster.

Your difference in usage of pedestrian mall tiles makes sense in this context; Sims are not hesitant to walk a few blocks when it's to their advantage to do so.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: VeTram on February 13, 2009, 02:21:35 PM
Thanks so much , z for all informations.....now another ( i hope) last question ...for today ;D.......i am trying to install RMTV3,50 ..and i dont know what to answer in the question concerning NAM/CAM Capacity configuration....( personally i use simulator z park and ride low ,and NOT CAM for the present ), so which one should i choose from the menu?
thanx
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 13, 2009, 04:42:12 PM
It doesn't matter what you choose there; the important thing is that once you've installed RTMT, you should follow the instructions under Patch for RTMT Users at the end of the first post in this thread.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: VeTram on February 14, 2009, 05:14:00 PM
Thanx z once again ,  :thumbsup: and here comes another question...i am reading in the Readme of NAM for the mail tiles....."Note: Ped Mall Tiles can NOT be used as a replacement for Street/Road/OneWayRoad/Avenue access for direct access to Residential Zones. Sims can however access Ped Mall Tiles directly from their homes (from their backyard for example), just not in front of their Residential Zoning Arrow. Residential zones must still have Street/Road/OneWayRoad/Avenue (with 'Car' access) at the front of their zoning arrow in order to develop - This particular characteristic is effectively controlled by the games' EXE & can not be changed"
...although i just realised that Residential zones develop the same as Commercial zones with their Residential Zoning Arrow facing the tiles!....what is the truth anyway? ()what()...thanx
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 14, 2009, 11:08:50 PM
I believe that residential zones may actually develop here, but Sims won't get jobs, unless there's a road running down the side of the zone (i.e., it's on a corner).  This is actually not a traffic simulator question, so if you have more questions about this issue, you should ask them in the  NAM Issues Thread (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=1444.0).
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: VeTram on February 14, 2009, 11:41:45 PM
thank you z once again,  ;)...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: the7train on February 17, 2009, 09:54:26 PM
Z,
How does your simulator work with overpasses?  So for example when using your medium simulator, if we have a one way road (4000) crossing over a RHW-4 (20,000), would the two networks be treated separately?  Or would the game see them as an intersection and create a max capacity for the intersection?  Could you explain your answer with an example using some numbers?  Also, is this how all simulators treat overpasses?  Or is yours different?  Finally, how would it show on the congestion map if one is congested and the other is not (assuming its not treated as an intersection)?  Please let me know if my question is not clear.

Thanks for a great addition to SC4!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 17, 2009, 11:26:04 PM
This is an interesting question.  First of all, what are commonly called simulators are just traffic plug-ins - essentially a set of parameters that are used to control the behavior of the Maxis traffic simulator.  Some things can be changed, some things can't.  One of the things that can't be changed is that the game is not really completely 3-D in many aspects.  For example, if you have a simple train line running diagonally under a viaduct rail which is straight, trains may switch from one to another as if the two rail lines were on the same level.  In the situation you mention, although unexpected switching doesn't happen, the game does see the two road tiles as occupying the same space, and calculates congestion accordingly.  This is visible in the congestion display.  I have seen an example of this with a road crossing an RHW, where the RHW would get congested as it approached the overpass from either side, even though there were no entrances or exits.  Assuming this is being treated as a standard intersection, the RHW squares directly under the overpass and the two squares of the overpass itself would have a combined capacity of 20,000 per RHW direction.  But one square away from the overpass, the RHW's capacity would be 4000; two squares away, it would be 8000.  And although this effect occurs with all traffic simulators, it is somewhat stronger in Simulator Z because Simulator Z has a larger intersection effect.  On the other hand, Simulator Z has larger capacities for the RHW-4 than the equivalent capacity versions of Simulators A and B - about 40% higher in the example you mentioned.  This tends to ameliorate the intersection effect for the RHW somewhat.  There's a table in the first post of the RHW thread on this page showing the capacities of the different versions of the various simulators, so it's easy to compare all of them.  Also, the speed limit for RHW roads is 20% higher in Simulator Z than in Simulators A and B, so what Sims lose in congested traffic, they tend to make up on the open road.

Also, I just checked the latest releases of Simulators A and B, and the bug that causes congestion to be severely under-reported is still present in both simulators.  This makes their congestion display essentially useless - everything is almost always shown as green.  I'll have to mention this in the proper place...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 18, 2009, 03:36:56 AM
I think we had discussed this aspect some before through e-mails, Z..
But just to remind me our conclusion on all overpasses in the game .. in the manner in which they are
treated by the traffic simulators..is that they are at least partially eye candy right ?
I mean insofar they are looked at in the game where it concerns traffic congestion as essentially as
intersections  rather than true overpasses ..

Thanks for your input on this..

Brian
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 18, 2009, 03:54:07 AM
Quote from: b22rian on February 18, 2009, 03:36:56 AM
But just to remind me our conclusion on all overpasses in the game .. in the manner in which they are
treated by the traffic simulators..is that they are at least partially eye candy right ?
I mean insofar they are looked at in the game where it concerns traffic congestion as essentially as
intersections  rather than true overpasses ..

Well, sort of.  But they aren't like regular intersections, because Sims can't turn off an overpass onto a highway, or vice versa.  But we did establish that this doesn't happen just with RHW; it happens with the Maxis highways as well.  So it's a game bug, but one deeply rooted in the game design.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 18, 2009, 04:27:53 AM
yes, good point thanks...

obviously I didnt want to make it sound like it totally hindered the "functionality"
aspects of the overpasses in the game.. For instance as you pointed out .. you can't
have cars drive off the top of overpasses for instance onto the lower levels roads..

but for those few squares right at or near the interchanges and overpasses the congestion
reported is somewhat inaccurate because of the game..
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 18, 2009, 04:39:54 AM
To be precise, it's not the congestion reported that's wrong - it's the actual congestion that is wrong.  What is displayed is correct (at least in Simulator Z).

The saving grace here is that no matter how bad the congestion gets, on any network, the speed on that network never drops below 30% of nominal.  This is in opposition to the real world, where in stop-and-go traffic on highways, you can get average speeds dropping to 5% of nominal.  The SC4 behavior here is actually yet another bug, but it reduces the impact of the intersection bug described above.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: b22rian on February 18, 2009, 08:44:39 AM
To be precise, it's not the congestion reported that's wrong - it's the actual congestion that is wrong.  What is displayed is correct (at least in Simulator Z).



and well you should be precise my friend ..
because as you said the reporting of the congestion , and being Actually congested..
are indeed 2 different game functions .Distinct and different in the ill live reader..
and I apologize for me error in my above posting..




Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: the7train on February 24, 2009, 06:54:35 PM
Thanks for your quick responses Z and Brian.  This does kind of simulate the "slow down" effect of highway entrances and exits, where traffic does usually slow down during rush hours around exits and entrances so you could put a positive spin on that I suppose  ;) 
I have another question that may or may not be related.  This is a performance related question.  You mention that the Z simulator runs faster than others.  So my question is does game performance rely strictly on CPU?  Does RAM and Graphics card memory have something to do with it?  I understand this question has to do more with the overall game, but it sounds like you're knowledgeable about this type of thing and I'd like to hear your opinion about how game performance works, if u have one or if you choose to answer this non-related-topic question  :)  If you know  of a post that does explain how the game works, I'd appreciate if you could share so I can view.
My guess is that loading pictures of the city (i.e. when zooming in/out or moving around the city) has more to do with graphics cards.  And time passing (so the actual simulation) by has to do with mostly CPU and some RAM. 
Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on February 25, 2009, 01:50:30 PM
RAM and graphics definitely have a lot to do with performance, and it's not only your graphics card's memory, but also the speed of its GPU.  The presence or absence of certain features in your graphics card can also affect performance, but I'm not knowledgable enough in this area to tell you exactly what these are.

RAM is actually the most important component when it comes to performance; ideally, you should have enough so that your active programs don't have to be paging, as paging slows down everything tremendously.  Once you have enough RAM to avoid this, though, adding more RAM will make no difference at all.

After RAM, you want to make sure you have a decent graphics card.  Anything around now that says it works well with most games will do fine.  There's no need to pay hundreds of dollars for a high-end graphics card.  But some of the low-end ones can have a negative impact on performance.  That's why you should check for reviews that mention game performance.  In general, graphics integrated on the motherboard do not provide optimum performance for this game.

Assuming you have enough memory, as mentioned above, the traffic simulator itself is entirely CPU-bound.  If you're running your game on high speed and notice that every few months the game slows way down, that's the traffic simulator running.  A faster CPU will certainly make a difference here.  But as you can tell, it's only part of the equation.  Replacing your CPU with one that's twice as fast will not make the game run twice as fast.  There are also factors such as memory speeds, bus speeds, etc. that come into play, but you have little control over those, unless you're replacing your computer.

Hope that helps...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: the7train on February 25, 2009, 07:28:56 PM
Thanks for your insight!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: gabrielbyrnei on March 01, 2009, 11:13:02 AM
I just changed from Medium Plugin to High Plugin, Changed both, plugins, inclucind data_view.

Though in-game i still see on my volume data view 100% as being 3000 on roads, which i think should be 6000 on High Plugin.

What am i doing wrong?

Thanks
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 01, 2009, 11:59:49 AM
You're doing nothing wrong.  Road capacity for the High plugin is 6000, but that's for an entire day.  The Traffic Volume View reports the traffic volume for the commute period you select; each commute period is half a day.  For this reason, the 100% numbers on the Traffic Volume View are half the total capacity of the specified networks.
Title: GLR Speed
Post by: lorenz4 on March 11, 2009, 12:32:00 PM
What is the GLR speed? it is the same as El-Rail? I suppose it should be lower as the elevated one doesn't have to worry about crossings. BTW does railway crossings have any effect on train speed or putting overpasses is just eye candy?

Also, why it is One-way roads speed and capacity the same as normal roads? In real world one way roads have some advantages as for example all the traffic lights can turn green in sucession (while in a 2-way road that would mess up the opposite direction). But in SC4 if they have the same capacity/speed as normal roads there is no advantage of putting two one-way road over having two normal road, is it? Also this artificially makes a avenue better than two one-way roads with median tiles.

Thanks!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 11, 2009, 01:52:40 PM
Yes, the GLR speed is identical to that of the el rail; they are fundamentally the same network.  It really should be much lower, and this is theoretically possible, although it can't be done in the traffic simulator alone.  I'm going to talk to the NAM team about this and see if it can actually be changed.

In general, railway crossings do not have an effect on train speed.  To see what's happening at a particular crossing, look at it in the Traffic Congestion View.  If the congestion does not change at the crossing, then the speed does not change either.  A lot of this comes down to the intersection effect.  If trains are not affected by the intersection effect, as I don't think they are, then crossings never directly affect train speed.

As for one-way roads, it is actually correct for them to have the same speed and capacity of two-way roads.  Certainly in RL, I have not seen real differences in speed limits or capacities.  And if traffic on a road is significantly different in the two directions, changing the road to one-way effectively increases its capacity up to a factor of two.  This is especially true when the traffic distribution on the road remains the same over the two commute periods.  For as before, where you had traffic in both directions adding up to total volume (and therefore congestion), now you only have the traffic in one direction to count, which may be as little as half the total.  So one-way roads can save you a lot in the right circumstances.

Similarly, with avenues, traffic volume and congestion is calculated per square, so the two sides of an avenue are calculated separately.  This gives an avenue the same benefits as one-way streets.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 12, 2009, 12:30:45 PM
Thanks for your quick answer.

Sorry, I was confused thinking that simulator Z was still using the speeds/capacities in this post:
http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.msg170200#msg170200

Now I see you use the same speed/capacity for road/one-way/avenue, not sure why you decided to change that. The original Maxis values though are biased towards one-way/avenue (1000/2000/2500, also more speed for avenue), and I somehow agree with that because in RL avenues usually have higher legal speed; and also one-ways even they usually have the same permited speed they have a greater effective speed than two way roads because the traffic-light sequence effect. However I think that Maxis values are too much biased (2x Capacity on one-way over 2 ways is too much), I would chose something in the middle between that and Z, but that is just a personal opinion.

So the intersection effect only affects roads? Do you know if it affects highways and RHW too?

About  GLR speed, can you point me to any discusion that may arrise about it? I would like to know if that is implemented and also just curious about how the speed change can be implemented there.

Thanks.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 12, 2009, 01:34:39 PM
Also another question. Why is Monorail's "Travel type generates  traffic" and "Travel type affected by traffic" properties both set to false, isn't that wrong?

Thanks again.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 12, 2009, 02:00:01 PM
Quote from: lorenz4 on March 12, 2009, 12:30:45 PM
Thanks for your quick answer.

Sorry, I was confused thinking that simulator Z was still using the speeds/capacities in this post:
http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.msg170200#msg170200

Now I see you use the same speed/capacity for road/one-way/avenue, not sure why you decided to change that. The original Maxis values though are biased towards one-way/avenue (1000/2000/2500, also more speed for avenue), and I somehow agree with that because in RL avenues usually have higher legal speed; and also one-ways even they usually have the same permited speed they have a greater effective speed than two way roads because the traffic-light sequence effect. However I think that Maxis values are too much biased (2x Capacity on one-way over 2 ways is too much), I would chose something in the middle between that and Z, but that is just a personal opinion.

Capacity was changed for two reasons:  1) It's required to be compatible with the upcoming NWM, and 2) it's actually realistic.  According to standard traffic engineering principles, two roads with the same speed limit will have the same capacity per lane, all other things being equal.  And unfortunately, there's no way to get variable speed limits for roads in SC4.  As for avenues, you're right, and I initially had avenues at a higher speed (I'll have to fix that post you referenced).  But again, it was necessary to make them the same speed as roads for NWM compatibility.  So it really is NWM that's driving a lot of this.  But the lesser congestion that proper use of one-way roads produces does result in higher speeds.

Quote
So the intersection effect only affects roads? Do you know if it affects highways and RHW too?

It affects all roadway types, including streets.

Quote
About  GLR speed, can you point me to any discusion that may arrise about it? I would like to know if that is implemented and also just curious about how the speed change can be implemented there.

It would be some place on the main NAM board, quite possibly in the NAM development thread.  So I would keep an eye out there, although it's going to be a while before I can get to that.

QuoteAlso another question. Why is Monorail's "Travel type generates  traffic" and "Travel type affected by traffic" properties both set to false, isn't that wrong?

You're right - they should actually both be set to "true", and then monorails can get congested just like everything else!  Right now, to my knowledge, monorail congestion isn't turned on in any traffic simulator, but I have been planning to do this for a while.  As it's a minor change, I was waiting until I could get another minor fix ready too.  But in the mean time, feel free to change those values to "true."  That's what's eventually going to happen in the official version.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: jplumbley on March 12, 2009, 02:31:06 PM
Quote from: z on March 12, 2009, 02:00:01 PM
You're right - they should actually both be set to "true", and then monorails can get congested just like everything else!  Right now, to my knowledge, monorail congestion isn't turned on in any traffic simulator, but I have been planning to do this for a while.  As it's a minor change, I was waiting until I could get another minor fix ready too.  But in the mean time, feel free to change those values to "true."  That's what's eventually going to happen in the official version.

Actually, I dont know if it is currently set to true in the Simulators A and B, it was originally.  There were many complaints about the Monorail then causing pollution, which was a result of one of those two properties being set to true.  I know that these properties were linked to pollution of traffic types, but I have wondered if there was another property elsewhere that controlled the amount of pollution generated per unit for each traffic type.  I never did look for it, so maybe you would want to look into that when you turn on traffic congestion for Monorails, because you will get many complaints about it as I did.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 12, 2009, 04:10:39 PM
Thanks Z and Jplumbley.

Humm, do that means that the other rail networks generate pollution? Does subway also generates pollution? Also, will subway add to the congestion of a road that is just over it and therefore generate more pollution from that road?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 12, 2009, 11:50:46 PM
Quote from: lorenz4 on March 12, 2009, 04:10:39 PM
Humm, do that means that the other rail networks generate pollution? Does subway also generates pollution? Also, will subway add to the congestion of a road that is just over it and therefore generate more pollution from that road?

If a vehicle has the property "Travel type generates traffic" set to "true" for its travel type, then it generates pollution - except for subways, which don't pollute.  This means that if monorails are allowed to generate traffic, which is necessary to create congestion, then they will pollute as well.  Not only is this a little strange, as in RL monorails are invariably electric, but as jplumbley notes, they generate an inordinate amount of pollution, or at least they did at one time.

Quote from: jplumbley on March 12, 2009, 02:31:06 PM
Actually, I dont know if it is currently set to true in the Simulators A and B, it was originally.  There were many complaints about the Monorail then causing pollution, which was a result of one of those two properties being set to true.  I know that these properties were linked to pollution of traffic types, but I have wondered if there was another property elsewhere that controlled the amount of pollution generated per unit for each traffic type.  I never did look for it, so maybe you would want to look into that when you turn on traffic congestion for Monorails, because you will get many complaints about it as I did.

I just checked, and in both Simulators A and B, "Travel type generates traffic" is set to true for monorails, but "Travel type is affected by traffic" is set to false.  This means that monorails generate pollution, but not congestion.  I remember one of the earlier discussions of the monorail pollution problem - perhaps this problem was fixed?

In any case, in pre-release versions of Simulator Z, I noticed that air pollution from traffic in general seemed too high.  In some ways, this was understandable, since even the low capacity versions of the recent traffic simulators have much greater capacity than the vanilla Maxis traffic simulator, and therefore there was typically more traffic, often much more.  But in many cities the air pollution produced by this traffic was so bad that you could go to the Air Pollution Data View and see the entire layout of the city's streets in the form of lines of air pollution.  Furthermore, examination of the Clean Air Act showed that it had no effect on air pollution produced by traffic, which simply seems wrong.  So from early on, Simulator Z has included a modified version of the Clean Air Act which, when enabled, reduces air pollution produced by traffic along with other air pollution, resulting in a much more balanced pollution picture.

Finally, monorail pollution was tested in a fairly extreme situation.  Brian (b22rian) has monorails that typically carry tens of thousands of passengers, and he turned on both of the travel type properties for them in Simulator Z.  Pollution was no worse than for other travel types.  So this shouldn't cause a problem for people who want to do turn on these properties now, or for when I do so in a future release of Simulator Z.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: jplumbley on March 13, 2009, 04:10:34 AM
Quote from: z on March 12, 2009, 11:50:46 PM
Finally, monorail pollution was tested in a fairly extreme situation.  Brian (b22rian) has monorails that typically carry tens of thousands of passengers, and he turned on both of the travel type properties for them in Simulator Z.  Pollution was no worse than for other travel types.  So this shouldn't cause a problem for people who want to do turn on these properties now, or for when I do so in a future release of Simulator Z.

Im not saying that the Monorails produced *more* pollution than other networks.  They produced more or less the same amount of pollution.  The reason I received complaints is the fact they produced any pollution at all, not that it was *excessive* pollution.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 13, 2009, 04:24:06 AM
Ah, OK.  That's good to know.  I believe the Clean Air Act fix should take care of that, but I'll be sure to look into it a bit more.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: RippleJet on March 13, 2009, 06:44:52 AM
Quote from: z on March 13, 2009, 04:24:06 AM
I believe the Clean Air Act fix should take care of that, but I'll be sure to look into it a bit more.

The in-game Clean Air Ordinance doesn't reduce traffic air pollution at all.
There is, however, one property that Maxis didn't use in that ordinance, Traffic Air Pollution Effect.

RalphaelNinja included this property in his Clean Air/Water/Traffic Ordinance,
which is included in his Radical Ordinance V2.0 (http://www.simtropolis.com/modding/index.cfm?p=details&id=282).
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 13, 2009, 01:27:28 PM
Yes, that's exactly what I did.  I looked at RalphaelNinja's Radical Ordinance, found the Traffic Air Pollution Effect, and included it in my modified Clean Air Ordinance.  This is the only modification I made to that ordinance.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 13, 2009, 09:08:10 PM
That's weird, I just checked and wherever there is road congestion I see pollution (I can almost see a map of the congested roads by looking at the map of pollution as it apears as lines over the roads), hovewer over the rail lines I don't see any pollution at all, even on those that are congested. Is that pollution effect only for monorail or should it affect also the other rail types?

Thanks
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 13, 2009, 09:23:22 PM
The other rail types pollute as well.  It sounds like you don't have the Clean Air Act enabled - do you?  Different vehicles emit different amounts of pollution, and the specific amounts aren't controlled from the traffic simulator.  But I think it makes sense that a train carrying 500 people would emit a lot less pollution than the number of cars needed to carry 500 people (which is typically about 400).
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 14, 2009, 09:48:06 AM
Yes, I have the "Clean Air Act" enabled (and the "Automobile Emission Reduction Act" too), I am using simulator Z low. I am talking about high volume areas though, I see polution over high volume roads but not over high volume rail (greenish). Do you know what is the pollution amount of each rail type? It is monorail worse?

BTW, I am just curious, how can you make GLR going slower than El-Rail being both the same network?

Thanks again!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Swamper77 on March 14, 2009, 03:13:34 PM
Quote from: lorenz4 on March 14, 2009, 09:48:06 AM
BTW, I am just curious, how can you make GLR going slower than El-Rail being both the same network?

You can't with how the simulator is set up.

-Swamper
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: mike3775 on March 15, 2009, 09:40:35 PM
I just installed this in one of my cities that has over 750,000 people and my traffic shifted big time.  I used Simulation Z High, and its great, I have people taking buses to work now, and walking over 6 city blocks to catch a bus or subway.

I like not having to place a sub/bus stop at every intersection now

Thanks for this more realistic traffic regulator
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 16, 2009, 12:14:33 AM
@mike3775:  You're welcome!  :)

Quote from: lorenz4 on March 14, 2009, 09:48:06 AM
Yes, I have the "Clean Air Act" enabled (and the "Automobile Emission Reduction Act" too), I am using simulator Z low. I am talking about high volume areas though, I see polution over high volume roads but not over high volume rail (greenish). Do you know what is the pollution amount of each rail type? It is monorail worse?

Something sounds wrong here.  I assume you're running the release version of Simulator Z, which contains the modified Clean Air Act.  If so, open up a city, then open up the Ordinances window, and click on the Clean Air Act.  Does the description contain the word "traffic" in it?

I am sorry, but I do not know the pollution amount for each rail type.  Perhaps someone else here does...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Swamper77 on March 16, 2009, 12:23:29 AM
Quote from: z on March 16, 2009, 12:14:33 AM
I am sorry, but I do not know the pollution amount for each rail type.  Perhaps someone else here does...

There aren't any specific values for the pollution created by each transit type. The Utility Simulator file contains a property with a multiplier of .25 for the pollution generated by traffic. The amount of pollution from traffic is purely dependent on how much traffic there is of any transit type. Large volumes of traffic will create large volumes of pollution. So, if there are 1000 cars on a road, then there is 250 units of pollution above that roadway.

-Swamper
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 16, 2009, 01:21:56 AM
Yes, that property in the Utility Simulator does the exact same thing that the property I changed in the Clean Air Act does, although their ranges are different.  So if there are no individual pollution levels for travel types, I gather that what you're saying is that 1000 Sims traveling by car create the same amount of pollution as 1000 Sims traveling by train.  (For those not familiar with the internals of the game, at this level, we have to talk about Sims only, since there aren't really any vehicles...  $%Grinno$%)  Having equivalent pollution for all travel types is not very realistic, but it's good to know.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 16, 2009, 11:07:26 AM
Yes, it includes "traffic" in the clean air act description. But that is not what I am concerned about (I understand some pollution over very used roads is normal, even with the clean air act), what I am concerned about it is that I don't see any pollution at all over rail lines. Are you sure all networks are suppose to pollute?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 16, 2009, 08:02:39 PM
If travel types are set to contribute to traffic, which is true of the rail lines, then they pollute.  But with the modified Clean Air Act, it's not very much.  What's surprising is that you're getting that much pollution from your traffic.  The fact that "traffic" is in your Clean Air Act description means that you have the right simulator version, and that your Clean Air Act isn't being overwritten by some other one.  So either you have a huge amount of traffic on your roads, or else you have some other modified ordinance that is resetting this property.

BTW, the Automobile Emission Reduction Act has nothing specific to autos, or even traffic!  It uses the same global pollution property as the unmodified Clean Air Act.  The only difference between the two ordinances is that the unmodified Clean Air Act reduces demand for dirty industry slightly, while the Automobile Emission Reduction Act reduces the mayor rating slightly.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: lorenz4 on March 17, 2009, 10:55:48 AM
Yes, those are packed streets in high density areas that have a lot of traffic, so I am not surprised by the pollution. Again, it looks weird to me that rail lines with usage close or over max 10000 capacity (show as yellow-orange in Simulator Z low traffic display) don't show any air pollution over them. I just have the NAM, RHW and some extra lots (mostly rail stations), so I don't think there is any examplar overwritting things there.

Good to know the info about the supposed "automobile" act.

Thanks!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Silverwarp on March 29, 2009, 08:21:24 PM
I'm rather curious about the effect the simulator had on my city.  Before I updated the NAM, I was using Traffic Simulator A Hard (I'm not 100% sure, but I was using CAM and I heard CAM was using that).  The effect on the intersections were understandable, that definitely changed.  However, there was big change in the way people have been traveling to work.  My public transportation, both subway and buses, was widely used before Z, but after Z, most people either drove or used the subway.  No one bothers using the bus anymore.  Could anyone tell me information about why this is happening?  I want to use my buses to augment my subway system to reduce car traffic, so I had bus stops at every other intersection (similar to San Francisco's system).  In fact, how do you make it so that people use the bus systems more in simulator Z?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 29, 2009, 11:27:37 PM
In all traffic simulators before Simulator Z, buses did not contribute to traffic congestion.  So in certain situations, it was advantageous for previous simulators to put lots of people on the bus, because it didn't increase traffic congestion at all.  This would have been especially true in the Hard simulators, as things could get congested very fast without this trick.  But using this trick was very unrealistic.

Simulator Z treats the bus like all other forms of transportation - no better, no worse.  Buses now contribute to traffic congestion like everything else.  So Simulator Z can't use the "stuff the Sims on the bus" trick.  But in general, the combined effects of Simulator Z are to make the Sims much smarter about how they get to work.  They like to spend as little time commuting as possible, and subways are much faster than buses.  If you are having almost no bus traffic, this probably means that almost all your bus routes are duplicated by subway routes.  To get more bus traffic, make your buses go where no other mass transit goes.  Or tear down some subways - they're four times as expensive to maintain in Simulator Z than anywhere else.

I think that if you realize that the Sims are smarter in Simulator Z, you'll see that what they're doing makes sense.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: marcika on March 30, 2009, 03:17:11 AM
Quote from: z on March 29, 2009, 11:27:37 PM
Simulator Z treats the bus like all other forms of transportation - no better, no worse.  Buses now contribute to traffic congestion like everything else.  So Simulator Z can't use the "stuff the Sims on the bus" trick.

Does that mean that Simulator Z assumes that a bus with 50 people contributes the same amount to congestion as 50 individual cars? If yes, then that's not very realistic - the biggest benefit of buses in a crowded real-world city is to "stuff" lots of people into one vehicle, reducing road congestion...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 30, 2009, 03:51:05 AM
Quote from: marcika on March 30, 2009, 03:17:11 AM
Does that mean that Simulator Z assumes that a bus with 50 people contributes the same amount to congestion as 50 individual cars?

Unfortunately, yes - this is an unavoidable consequence of the fact that vehicles are just an abstraction in SC4, and all travel is by individual Sims.  However, Simulator Z's pathfinding algorithm is tuned so that there is less congestion on streets in a city running Simulator Z than there is in that same city running any other simulator of a similar capacity.  This is despite the fact that Simulator Z is tuned to provide a greater proportion of car traffic, and also counts buses toward congestion.  Simulator Z's traffic distribution algorithms also make sure that buses are used in appropriate volumes, where what is appropriate is described in more detail in my previous post.  Also, buses in the real world add somewhat to congestion by making many stops; buses in SC4 never stop.  (No vehicle ever does, except at its trip end point.)   This means that their speed, while comparable to real world buses, is greater due to the lack of stops.  So the traffic distribution and congestion is as realistic as possible; it is certainly not perfect, as the underlying traffic simulator code is nowhere nearly sophisticated enough to make anything near perfection possible.  But the final results end up being quite reasonable, nevertheless.  The alternative is buses that hold an infinite numbers of Sims (run by the notorious Simgularity Bus Company), which makes the whole traffic simulation less accurate.

It's useful to note that this vehicle effect applies to all vehicles, not just buses.  For example, a train carrying 500 Sims puts out as much pollution as 500 cars.  The same thing applies to trams - and it doesn't even matter whether or not they're electric.  There are many inescapable limitations in this simulation.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: SimFox on March 30, 2009, 06:54:26 AM
I think this is a bit tricky situation ...
and citing pollution output, although I totally agree with it's ridiculous arithmetics, doesn't really prove any point.
Public transport in SimCity is not a tool to reduce pollution, but to reduce congestion. Wouldn't making buses to congest effectively eliminates their usefulness as a such?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: Silverwarp on March 30, 2009, 12:16:16 PM
Quote from: z on March 29, 2009, 11:27:37 PM
In all traffic simulators before Simulator Z, buses did not contribute to traffic congestion.  So in certain situations, it was advantageous for previous simulators to put lots of people on the bus, because it didn't increase traffic congestion at all.  This would have been especially true in the Hard simulators, as things could get congested very fast without this trick.  But using this trick was very unrealistic.

Simulator Z treats the bus like all other forms of transportation - no better, no worse.  Buses now contribute to traffic congestion like everything else.  So Simulator Z can't use the "stuff the Sims on the bus" trick.  But in general, the combined effects of Simulator Z are to make the Sims much smarter about how they get to work.  They like to spend as little time commuting as possible, and subways are much faster than buses.  If you are having almost no bus traffic, this probably means that almost all your bus routes are duplicated by subway routes.  To get more bus traffic, make your buses go where no other mass transit goes.  Or tear down some subways - they're four times as expensive to maintain in Simulator Z than anywhere else.

I think that if you realize that the Sims are smarter in Simulator Z, you'll see that what they're doing makes sense.

Thanks for the information!  I was also wondering my budget surplus went down by a lot too (I had a $5000 surplus drop to around $1000).

Hmm...if that's the case, I was wondering if you could add some kind of cost for Sims to drive their cars, similar to how we have to pay gas in the real world.  Does the programming in the game allow it?  I was thinking more along the lines of how buses take longer to get there, but are cheaper than car travel and in general, the longer the travel distance, the more likely a Sim is to use his or her car and the opposite is true for buses.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on March 30, 2009, 02:19:03 PM
Quote from: SimFox on March 30, 2009, 06:54:26 AM
I think this is a bit tricky situation ...

Most definitely - the game doesn't allow a perfect solution.

QuotePublic transport in SimCity is not a tool to reduce pollution, but to reduce congestion. Wouldn't making buses to congest effectively eliminates their usefulness as a such?

Yes, but in SC4, that's really not their main function.  Riding the bus is cheaper than owning a car, and in the game, the lower the wealth level of the Sims, the more bus riders there are.  This corresponds to real world motivations for using the bus.  Meanwhile, in Simulator Z, there is a lot of effort put into reducing congestion.  Interestingly enough, when I changed the alpha version of Simulator Z to make buses contribute to congestion, total congestion did not increase significantly.  In fact, as I mentioned earlier, total congestion is still much less than in traffic simulators that don't count buses toward congestion.  Effectively, the growth of congestion is less than linear when plotted against the growth of traffic; this seems to be due to the simulator's making more use of underutilized routes as traffic increases.  Views of traffic maps bear this out.  So in SC4, the real purpose of buses is to provide a cheap form of mass transit, and that they do very well.  And with Simulator Z, they're able to do that without increasing congestion significantly due to the simulator's pathfinding algorithms.

Quote from: Silverwarp on March 30, 2009, 12:16:16 PM
I was wondering if you could add some kind of cost for Sims to drive their cars, similar to how we have to pay gas in the real world.  Does the programming in the game allow it?  I was thinking more along the lines of how buses take longer to get there, but are cheaper than car travel and in general, the longer the travel distance, the more likely a Sim is to use his or her car and the opposite is true for buses.

The game allows charges for network usage per square, which was how I was able to increase the monthly cost for subways.  It also allows for income per square for each travel type, which allows fares for mass transit.  Theoretically, you could add a number here for cars, which would add a cost proportional to the driving distance.  But this "cost" is only income that the city receives; it isn't something that the Sims actually pay, and it would have no effect on their driving habits.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: aaaling on April 22, 2009, 09:39:37 AM
How do I install simulator Z? I always install simulator C.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on April 22, 2009, 03:29:35 PM
You have to choose your traffic simulator during the NAM installation.  Just rerun the installation; there's no harm in doing so.  The "Click + to select Traffic Controller Files" option is near the bottom of the scrollbox in the screen directly after the license agreement.  Click on the plus sign and select the version of Simulator Z that you want.

This question seems to get asked frequently, so I'll put the answer in the main post.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: aaaling on April 22, 2009, 04:45:41 PM
Witch button do I select to install simulator Z? ()lurker() ()lurker() ()lurker() ()lurker()javascript:void(0);
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on April 23, 2009, 02:09:47 AM
Following the directions above, find the version of Simulator Z that you want and check its box.  The different versions are explained in the first post.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: ramseyazad on April 23, 2009, 06:24:48 AM
Does traffic simulator z normally work with the "my sim" mode?  I don't really ever like to follow the little people around, but I tried it last night, and none of the sims could ever find their way out of their houses.  I started to panic about my simple road, street, and rhw network, but I figured it was probably something more to do with the silly "my sim" mode than the simulator, since everyone else was mostly finding their way.  I did, however, have a drink in honor of several generations of one sim, who never found their way out of their house, moved, couldn't find their way out of their new house, tried it again, and always died early, grumbling from a lack of health care and unable to get to work. 
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: aaaling on April 23, 2009, 09:42:40 AM
Can you post a pic of the traffic plugin file area of the NAM setup?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: z on April 23, 2009, 10:18:06 AM
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg218.imageshack.us%2Fimg218%2F2964%2Fnam.jpg&hash=9485f5a5b4f894b241eec6e4bcada2ca4f95c3c5)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z Help
Post by: aaaling on April 23, 2009, 01:46:57 PM
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! &apls
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 21, 2009, 10:39:35 PM
This thread has been renamed "NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help" to indicate that it now includes support for the new data views introduced in the June, 2009 version of the NAM, along with the previously existing Traffic Volume View.  Any questions on these data views, as well as on Simulator Z, should be posted to this thread.  The post that appears first on every page of this thread has been updated to include complete information on the current version of Simulator Z, as well as on the new data views.  Release notes for the current version of Simulator Z have also been included, so that current users of this traffic simulator can see what has changed since the last release.  Documentation for the new Subway View, Subway Building View, and Zones View has now been included in the section "Traffic Volume View and Other New Data Views."  The first two of these, along with the Traffic Volume View, are now automatically included for all traffic simulators, while the Zones data view is optional (though highly recommended), and must be specifically selected during the NAM installation process.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 30, 2009, 03:51:09 PM
For those people who find RippleJet's Census Repository Facility quite useful in managing their cities, for the first time he has just released a complete set of these files for all levels of the NAM Simulator Z.  The files can be found in this post (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=6095.msg256510#msg256510).
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: TWAK on July 01, 2009, 03:16:34 PM
I had a problem with sims still using the old park and ride simulator A or B, when I updated the nam to simulator Z (with no park and ride).  I'm about to restart my city, see if that makes it revert to Z.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: CaptCity on July 01, 2009, 08:32:47 PM
TWAK...

Whenever I've changed simulators in established cities (especially large ones), it has taken several game years to 'balance' out and get the paths correct. Might try to let it run to see if it helps...

CaptCity
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 01, 2009, 09:32:30 PM
Quote from: CaptCity on July 01, 2009, 08:32:47 PM
Whenever I've changed simulators in established cities (especially large ones), it has taken several game years to 'balance' out and get the paths correct. Might try to let it run to see if it helps...

This is well-known behavior, intentionally built into the underlying traffic simulator by Maxis.  In some places this is referred to as anti-herding behavior.  The idea is that if you change simulators, or simply make changes to crtain key parameters in your simulator, a lot of Sims need to change their routes to work.  Many cities are laid out so that they would all flock to a few "best" routes.  Congestion that would result from this is not considered when the routes are chosen; it is only considered after it has occurred, at the next running of the simulator.  The next time the simulator ran, it would notice that these "best" routes were now all congested, and it would redistribute traffic to second-best routes.  But the next time the simulator ran after that, these next-best routes may be congested, or in any case, the original "best" routes would no longer be congested, and the simulator would reroute the Sims back to them.  So there would be massive changing of routes back and forth each time the simulator ran, with no equilibrium being reached (at least not for a very long time), and the whole behavior would seem very unrealistic.

Instead, the traffic simulator has the anti-herding behavior implemented.  What this does is to limit the increase in traffic on a particular route during a given run of the traffic simulator; this limit appears to be raised about once a year.  Under normal circumstances, it will take about five years for the traffic distribution to reach equilibrium.  You can see this as a stair-step pattern on the Traffic Volume Graph.

Meanwhile, you will tend to see traffic drop off sharply in the Traffic Volume Graph about a year after switching traffic simulators, just before the stair-step pattern begins.  Traffic actually isn't dropping off at all; it's just that the routes of the Sims that are affected by this change are indeterminate until the equilibrium is reached.  So they're still getting to work, and you need not worry about them; it's just that their routes and modes of transportation are undefined.  It's a little bit like the Sim equivalent of the superposition of states in quantum mechanics, where a particle's position is undefined until the collapse of the wave function.  I'm sure that's what Maxis had in mind.   $%Grinno$%
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: CaptCity on July 01, 2009, 10:52:24 PM
Z...

You know you've just explained and connected every type of odd behavior I've ever seen concerning the traffic patterns of those rascally Sims - thanks! (Please don't tell me it's been posted somewhere else - I'd be totally embarrassed...   &ops )

Quote from: z on July 01, 2009, 09:32:30 PM...the superposition of states in quantum mechanics, where a particle's position is undefined until the collapse of the wave function.

Oh my, I actually understand that... Guess those those four years of schooling weren't a waste after all...  ;)

QuoteI'm sure that's what Maxis had in mind.   $%Grinno$%
Don't know about that one...  ()what()
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: nataus on July 04, 2009, 04:21:16 AM
Hello! I have a little problem. Since I installed the new NAM (June 2009), I've been getting black holes showing the game's background on some lots each time I was entering the subway building view (that's just an example picture):
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi39.tinypic.com%2F2s7denn.jpg&hash=6ee024f9737adad85b142bbb11bc4985f331dcc3)
You can see it under the windmill or whatever it's called in english.
Then, after hours and hours of fighting with it, reading and rereading all the NAM readmes, I discovered that deleting the "volume data view" file solves the problem.
I've been trying with different volume data view files, according to different traffic simulators installed at each time, of course. And always the same thing happened.
I don't believe there was a conflict with other plugins, because I also tried this with NAM only in the plugins folder.
In the installer, there's no option "installing or not installing" the volume data view file, so I want to ask how important it is. Does it have any hidden function in the game? Is it important for the proper functionality of NAM? Simply: can it be safely removed? I want to keep the NAM, I've been using it for years and I can't live without it, but I don't want it to harm my game :( Will it still work without volume data view file?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 04, 2009, 04:52:22 AM
Quote from: nataus on July 04, 2009, 04:21:16 AM
Hello! I have a little problem. Since I installed the new NAM (June 2009), I've been getting black holes showing the game's background on some lots each time I was entering the subway building view (that's just an example picture):

Yes, the new NAM introduced a new Subway Building View, and these "black holes," as you call them, occasionally show up in this view; they appear to be a game bug.  As you notice, they disappear when you leave this view.

QuoteI discovered that deleting the "volume data view" file solves the problem.

Yes, the new Subway Building View is embedded in the volume data views.

QuoteI've been trying with different volume data view files, according to different traffic simulators installed at each time, of course. And always the same thing happened.
I don't believe there was a conflict with other plugins, because I also tried this with NAM only in the plugins folder.
In the installer, there's no option "installing or not installing" the volume data view file, so I want to ask how important it is. Does it have any hidden function in the game? Is it important for the proper functionality of NAM? Simply: can it be safely removed? I want to keep the NAM, I've been using it for years and I can't live without it, but I don't want it to harm my game :( Will it still work without volume data view file?

There is no conflict with other plugins, and the rest of the NAM will work without the new volume data views.  However, the old ones are essentially useless with the current traffic simulators, which is why the new ones were introduced.  Also, the new Subway Building view gets around the longstanding problem that in the standard Subway Building view, even moderately tall buildings blocked the view of the streets enough that it was quite difficult to accurately plop new subway stations.  Removing the volume data views brings this problem back.

So to summarize, the purpose of the new volume data views is to see the volume of the different types of traffic in a realistic way (using the Traffic Volume Data View), to be able to build subway stations without having your networks hidden by buildings, and to be able to see your subway volume when building subways.  Removing the volume data views disables all of these features.  However, the rest of the NAM will still work fine.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: nataus on July 04, 2009, 05:08:41 AM
OK,
Thank you for dispelling my doubts. It's good to know that you know about this problem, I was a little worried, because I coudn't find the information anywhere.
And thank you for waht you do to help us, simple players, to make the game even better &apls :thumbsup:
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: gtaki on July 07, 2009, 07:58:05 AM
hi z

I have mentioned this effect shown in nataus' pic...
And it seems it takes longer loading time when switching from subway building view to normal view.

is this normal ?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 07, 2009, 09:23:23 PM
Quote from: gtaki on July 07, 2009, 07:58:05 AM
I have mentioned this effect shown in nataus' pic...

As I mentioned, it seems to be a game bug.  Specifically, it seems to be caused by displaying the Zones view without buildings but with props.  The props do seem to be very helpful for orientation, though, and people like them; furthermore, they make it easy to identify transit stations (which in cases such as RTMT, consist entirely of props).

QuoteAnd it seems it takes longer loading time when switching from subway building view to normal view.

is this normal ?

I haven't seen this, nor heard this before.  But it's easy to guess what's happening here, and there's an easy fix.  The new Subway Building view is actually based on the Zones view instead of the Subway view.  (You may have noticed that it's almost identical to the new Zones view.)  I would imagine that you are used to waiting a long time to return from the Zones view to the normal view, and I would also guess that you have a lot of plugins.  The fix is simple:  datpack your plugins.  (Leave out frequently updated packages such as NAM and RTMT.)  Not only will SC4 start up faster, but returning from Zones-based views to the normal view will once again proceed quickly as well.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: doorknob60 on July 09, 2009, 03:28:36 PM
In my cities the Sims use the Subway TOO much. It's getting out of hand recently. My previously full highways (9000 sims) are now deserted (700 sims) and I didn't really change anything in the city. Looking at the traffic volume map, it looks like 80% of the sims use the subway. That's not all that realistic. The two cities I'm noticing this in is a large tile with ~1,180,000 sims and subways/GLR with RTMT on all roads and avenues for the most part, and the other one is a more suburban large tile with ~200,000ish sims (don't remember) with also the same style of Subway placement. This didn't happen before, what simulator/difficulty would you recommend. Also, is it a bad idea to use so much subways? :P

This is the smaller city (actually 131,000). The red looking line is just the exact same number of pedestrians and subways.
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi26.tinypic.com%2Fwcfr4o_th.jpg&hash=456f543ceac3bd374ec67f4de4d31ddcb987676c) (http://i26.tinypic.com/wcfr4o.jpg)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi26.tinypic.com%2F6pvpzp_th.jpg&hash=ea70b02b678a1d071a7db210200925efad33a360) (http://i26.tinypic.com/6pvpzp.jpg)

The bigger city is the same thing with just 10x more people and not quite as bad, and also they actually use buses sometimes in that one (they stopped using buses in the small one). I use high, should I switch to medium or low maybe? I'll get pics of the big city too.

All the road congestion on the west side is from T-RAM, I use T-RAM over there and Subways on the east side and in the middle.
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi27.tinypic.com%2F112hkpv_th.png&hash=92f4cc3a1c2999829216f2cec456fd1738555224) (http://i27.tinypic.com/112hkpv.png)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi32.tinypic.com%2F2h878rt_th.png&hash=fc4a89ee2ca27e47198e639788b46f759a75448c) (http://i32.tinypic.com/2h878rt.png)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi28.tinypic.com%2F29yqip1_th.png&hash=05681ed0d872e5c15299a1e9eca6cfcc208b0877) (http://i28.tinypic.com/29yqip1.png)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 10, 2009, 09:27:48 PM
As Chris101 pointed out at ST, the Sims are using the subways simply because they're faster.  First, keep in mind that the game's population figures have been determined to be many times higher than they would be in an equivalent real city - in many cases, they're 10 times as high, according to a reliable study here.  If you look at your smaller city, you'll see that it looks like it has a population of well under 100,000.  Normally, cities that size don't have any subway lines at all, although they often have a main highway or two running through them.  But your little city has a subway density greater than that of Manhattan.  No wonder the Sims use the subways so much!  Now it's true that in the past, you often had to put an unrealistically large number of subways in your cities to get them to function properly at all - I noticed this going all the way back to SC3K.  But Simulator Z makes this unnecessary.  If you build a city with a realistic distribution of highways, subways, and other mass transit, you'll get a realistic distribution of travelers on these networks, and the Sims will be able to get to their jobs without problems.  But if you put in lots of subways, the Sims will use them - they're much faster for getting to work than roads.

Also, subways do come at a cost - literally.  For technical reasons, it's difficult to raise the cost of a subway tile without creating dependencies with too many other things in the game.  But projects like subways aren't paid for all at once, anyway.  So what I did was to multiply the monthly cost of subways by a factor of six.  (This is still way too small, but raising the cost much higher than that would break too many existing cities.)  This extra monthly cost can be considered payment on interest-only bonds that were issued to pay for the subways.  And now, subway maintenance cost is no longer inconsequential.

You have a couple of options here.  You ask, "Is it a bad idea to use so much subways?", and I have essentially answered "Yes" to that question.  You can demolish a lot of the subway lines, which will help your budget a lot, and it will also cause usage of all other forms of transportation (including buses) to increase.  Or you could move to a lower capacity simulator.  To get a real difference, you would need to move to the Low capacity.  At least in your large city, your subways would start to get congested, their speed would drop, and at least some Sims would move to other forms of transportation.  A fully congested subway (one that shows up red) has a speed just a bit less than an uncongested road, so there's a potential for quite a shift by doing this.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: doorknob60 on July 12, 2009, 04:54:47 PM
Thanks for the detailed reply, z :) I'll mess around with it...as soon as I get a new motherboard :(
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: woodb3kmaster on July 23, 2009, 10:55:14 PM
I'm considering switching from the easy version of Simulator A to Simulator Z, and I have a couple of questions. First, for a city that has a lot of mass transit in place (which BTW isn't getting used all that much), which version of Simulator Z would you recommend that I switch to, at least initially? Second, what kind of changes should I expect to see in traffic volume during the five-or-so years that it will take the simulator to reach a new equilibirium? I know that Simulator A increases the distances Sims are willing to walk/drive/whatever, and it seems from reading your earlier replies that Simulator Z effetively eliminates these limits altogether, if I'm understanding your posts correctly. Will this change have a noticeable impact on the appearance of the nefarious no-job zots, which seem to come and go in certain parts of my cities for no apparent reason, and if so, in what way? Apologies if you've answered similar questions on previous pages of this thread.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 23, 2009, 11:40:01 PM
If you have a lot of mass transit, and your city isn't huge, I'd say try the Low simulator first.  You can always move up to a higher capacity simulator if you need it.  Of course you could just start out with High or Ultra; it all depends on how much realism you want in your city's traffic congestion.

You will find that under Simulator Z, your mass transit gets used a lot more than under Simulator A.  It almost appears that your Sims are getting smarter, which is effectively what's happening.  Most, if not all, of the no-job zots should disappear, assuming that you have enough jobs to be filled.

As for the behavior of the traffic volume during the first five years after switching traffic simulators, please see this post (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=6812.msg256753#msg256753) for an in-depth explanation of what happens.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: woodb3kmaster on July 24, 2009, 12:04:06 AM
Thanks! My central city is pretty big, with about 670K residents and 425K jobs, so perhaps Medium would work better for me than Low? If that doesn't result in as much of an increase in mass transit usage as I hope for, I'll try switching to Low.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 24, 2009, 12:18:18 AM
A lot of this depends on how much rapid transit you have; this is essentially rail lines, including subway.  With enough subway lines, you can run cities with several million Sims quite well with the Low simulator.  On the other hand, if your mass transit is mainly buses, you may need to use Medium, or even High.  Whatever your choice, though, you should see your rapid transit usage increase significantly.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: GoaSkin on August 03, 2009, 12:00:30 PM
Hello,

is there a way to create a traffic simulator that makes commuting to neighbor-cities more attractive even if the ways are very long? In some rural areas of my landscape, I use big cities just to build a town that covers a small part of the area only - all the other parts of it is just used as functional biosphere. In the result there is allmost no commute to neighbor cities because the streets are many kilometers long without any house.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 03, 2009, 01:00:06 PM
Quote from: GoaSkin on August 03, 2009, 12:00:30 PM
s there a way to create a traffic simulator that makes commuting to neighbor-cities more attractive even if the ways are very long?

Not without changing the source code, which we can't do.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: GoaSkin on August 03, 2009, 04:32:38 PM
Do you need some informations from the source code? I can examine it but not everything is easy to understand.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 03, 2009, 06:59:13 PM
It wouldn't help, as it's not legal for us to change it.

But how do you have access to the SC4 source code?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on August 04, 2009, 01:41:53 PM
from other thread for reference

Quote from: z on August 01, 2009, 07:21:41 PM
...As you guessed, the change in bus behavior is a traffic simulator issue, and occurs only in Simulator Z, which I gather you're using. ..explanation..

Basically, the traffic simulator works much better if you're able to let it count buses as contributing to traffic.

.. too much congestion using Simulator Z, there are two ways to alleviate it: 

[..a..] a higher capacity version of the simulator
[..b..]build [more] subways.  In any case, it should be possible to reduce congestion to any level you like.

..further questions about Simulator Z, I'd be happy to answer them, but you're right, they would belong in another thread, specifically [..this current thread..]

hmm.. Well with this approach why use buses at all? They just become cars. I don't have much problem moving to higher capacity simulators.. just seems rather a stretch for the solution.. well I guess the real rub is that buses look like cars.. just isn't logical.. regardless of the capacity simulators. With higher capacity simulators, then the cars become insignificant.. but I'll play with it a bit to see what I think... I mean introducing subways into cities of 30-70k seems a bit far-reaching for solutions. This approach basically makes cars=buses and subways="new buses" that don't have to travel roads. Do you have a link to your detail analysis on ST? Thanks.

Do you know if "customer count" for commerce counts subways, buses, cars, pedestrians, etc equally? I assume not subways since they are undergound, but perhaps as they pass through stations, etc. Do trucks play a role at all? ie are they just another "customer"? The region I'm currently playing I specifically set up for two reasons.. to check out CAM and to try out a "no commuter loop" network design that forces as much as possible traffic to go through commerce centers rather than just wandering around the periphery. I don't spend a lot of time on it, but its fun for playing around.. :)

Glad to see you've become deeply involved in the simulations.. always nice to see folk discovering or re-examining the "guts" of the game.


Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 04, 2009, 09:26:51 PM
The reason for having buses is to simulate the role of buses in a real city.  Like everything else in SC4, this is oversimplified, and so buses don't behave like real buses.  Then again, no vehicles do.  The vehicles you see in SC4 - the automata - generally don't reflect at all what's really happening.  Just scratch the surface a tiny bit, and you discover the following:


This is just the beginning.  You can find an explanation of these points in this post (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=2763.msg177981#msg177981) in the thread "TE Lots, Transit Switches, and You," which gets rather deep into how the traffic simulator actually works.  (The article at ST actually doesn't contain any other information relevant to this discussion.)  We are limited by how the underlying traffic simulator is implemented, which makes it impossible to implement buses (or any other vehicle) realistically.  Experiments have shown that Simulator Z comes the closest of all the traffic simulators; you can see some of the most crucial experiments in this post (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.msg204681#msg204681) in the Traffic Simulator Z Development (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.0) thread.

Sims will still use buses, which are slower than cars (as in real life) because the traffic simulator says that a certain proportion of them should where possible, and this proportion varies by wealth level.

What it comes down to is that Simulator Z tries to make the best traffic simulation possible given the limitations of the underlying simulation engine.  Although I think I've got the major issues taken care of at this point, there's always room for improvement; I'm currently looking into making the simulator make Sims wait for buses, trains, etc., instead of having these vehicles appear immediately.  This should result in an even more accurate traffic distribution.  In the next few weeks, I'll be releasing a trial version of this simulator; if you'd like to try it out, keep an eye on the development thread I mentioned above.

As for customer count, all travel types play an equal role, except for trucks and freight trains, which carry only freight.  The freight plays an important part in the game, but it just doesn't contribute to customer count.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 07, 2009, 11:03:29 PM
This post answers questions that were mistakenly asked in the Development thread.

Quote from: Eagle on August 07, 2009, 06:01:25 PM
I am using traffic sim z medium & have a few questions.
1. What is the current version of traffic sim z?  I am not running the NAM, so I downloaded the z sim from a link on this thread.  It is ver v1_1a.
2. The values for the intersection effect in the DAT file are 1.0, 0.2, 0.4.  What exactly do these values represent?  I have read the thread & have a general understanding of intersection effect, but want to understand the math.
3.  The population background traffic values in the DAT file are 0.05, 0.2, 0.2.  Are these values related to the automata traffic generated or do they actually affect the traffic numbers used for traffic noise, etc?
4. What roadside bus stops & subway stations are preferred?  I am not running RTMT.  I tried using Deadwood's stops, & they worked fine except for capacity.  However, when I bumped up the capacity, they no longer show trips or calculate utilization in the query pop up. . . & I don't know how to correct this.

1. The current version is v1.1.1, which is in the current NAM.  I'm not sure which link you're referring to, but v1.1a would be very close to v1.1.1.  I would strongly recommend using the NAM.

2. Here's an extended explanation of the intersection effect that I posted over at Simtropolis:

QuoteThe Prima guide inaccurately states that a vehicle's speed is reduced by a certain amount 0, 1, and 2 squares from an intersection.  In reality, what's reduced is the network capacity.  This means that where there is plenty of excess capacity, the Sims don't even slow down at intersections, much less stop for red lights.  (Or as a Boston cab driver once famously told me, "You seen one red light, you seen 'em all" as he zipped through one.)  Simulator Z is the only traffic simulator that actually reduces capacities around intersections enough to cause heavy traffic to slow down enough to simulate at least a short stop light.  And this is the best that can be done because, as was discovered painfully by a number of us, it is not possible to make congestion reduce traffic speed below 30% of the network's nominal speed.  And in fact, in all the traffic simulators, anywhere you see solid red on the congestion map, traffic is moving at 30% of its nominal speed.  This means, of course, that the Sims still don't stop at traffic lights.  But at least now they slow down.

As for what the intersection effect is in Simulator Z, like Simulators A and B, it has to be zero in the intersection itself in order not to break RHW and NWM.  But instead of the slight reductions in capacities in other simulators, which generally have little or no effect on vehicle speed, in Simulator Z, network capacity is reduced by 80% in the squares directly adjoining an intersection, and by 60% in the square that's two squares away from the intersection.  This explains having red squares next to an intersection.  And this makes sense; if you have a heavily traveled road, you're going to want to have a stoplight at the intersection.  I seem to remember that I once figured that having two red squares on each side of an intersection is equivalent to having a stoplight with a 30 second cycle, with no other congestion effects due to surrounding traffic.

3. I don't know.

4. I strongly recommend using RTMT wherever possible; most people should use the High version.  RTMT's capacities have been tuned for Simulator Z, although they also work fine with the other traffic simulators.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Eagle on August 08, 2009, 11:06:50 AM
Thanks Z.  I have only been playing the game for 3 months, so I still have much to learn.  Not quite ready to get complex with plugins, but I am interested in RTMT.  Other than a few mods to bump up capacities (private schools, etc.), the only mods I am running are the traffic simulator z & industry quadrupler.  By the way, the medium z works quite well on my city of 400k.  It has good bus coverage & a decent passenger rail system.  In fact, I had to take out some of the rail network with medium z because the Sims were so good about using it that it was making commercial zone development difficult due to low road traffic through these zones.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 08, 2009, 11:55:38 AM
I think your commercial problems are more likely due to the industry quadrupler than to Simulator Z.  I would strongly recommend that you get rid of the industry quadrupler and install CAM, which will raise your industry capacity in a more balanced way.  I think the three most important plugins for the game are NAM, CAM, and RTMT.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Eagle on August 08, 2009, 06:20:45 PM
Probably will install RTMT next.  Not ready for the NAM & CAM yet.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on August 09, 2009, 03:09:53 AM
Quote from: z on August 08, 2009, 11:55:38 AM
I would strongly recommend that you get rid of the industry quadrupler and install CAM, which will raise your industry capacity in a more balanced way.  I think the three most important plugins for the game are NAM, CAM, and RTMT.
Aha! That is a very interesting piece of advice. I did install the industry quadrupler quite a while ago (before Simulator Z) because I got tired of having to devote large areas of my cities to industry, which is boring to zone and not too attractive. After implementing Simulator Z I did not notice any really adverse effect but I did find that further development of some cities became sluggish, especially that of commercial areas. On the other hand, installing CAM has been on my to-do list for a very long time, but I wanted to understand it well before starting to use it. The above advice is certainly a good incentive to really getting involved with CAM.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: the7train on August 20, 2009, 12:53:13 PM
Hi,
I just have a question about commute times when sims go from one city tile to the next.  Is their commute time calculated only by the time it takes to get from home to the end of the city tile?  With no regard for how long they drive in the next city?  Or is there a commute time added in for the next city? 
Also, what is the max distance or time in Simulator Z that sims are willing to travel?
Thanks!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 20, 2009, 01:17:45 PM
Quote from: the7train on August 20, 2009, 12:53:13 PM
Hi,
I just have a question about commute times when sims go from one city tile to the next.  Is their commute time calculated only by the time it takes to get from home to the end of the city tile?  With no regard for how long they drive in the next city?  Or is there a commute time added in for the next city? 

Yes, yes, and no.

QuoteAlso, what is the max distance or time in Simulator Z that sims are willing to travel?

Simulator Z is set so that the Sims are always able to get to any of the neighboring tiles.  Since their commute time is reset once they enter a new tile, there is theoretically no limit on how far they are willing to travel.  But for various reasons which are a bit complex to go into here, it's very difficult to get them to commute more than a few tiles.  Yet that should be plenty for most people, and in real-world terms, it's not a long commute, as each tile is only 4 km long.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on August 20, 2009, 10:14:00 PM
I have not done thorough testing but it certainly seems that ONEWAY roads are not as effective as they should be. I am not sure why.. if its a result of an averaging of "morning/ evening commute times, or lane counts or what I'm not sure. Have other folk observed this? I am currently using z-high due to the "bus count" giving me heavy "congestion" throughout most of my streets.

Oh I forgot to mention that the "intersection mod" that you've implemented is rather unrealistic as it gives big congestion on both the entrance and exit of intersections even when the total traffic is largely oneway. This probably is unavoidable.. I dunno ;)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 20, 2009, 10:54:51 PM
Quote from: SC4BOY on August 20, 2009, 10:14:00 PM
I have not done thorough testing but it certainly seems that ONEWAY roads are not as effective as they should be. I am not sure why.. if its a result of an averaging of "morning/ evening commute times, or lane counts or what I'm not sure. Have other folk observed this? I am currently using z-high due to the "bus count" giving me heavy "congestion" throughout most of my streets.

In order to be compatible with RHW and NWM, all recent traffic simulators have the capacity of one-way roads set to be the same as standard roads.  This is actually how things work in the real world anyway.  The original Maxis simulator had the capacity as twice that of normal roads, but that's completely unrealistic.  One-way roads provide the biggest boost in SC4 when there is a large difference between morning and evening commute traffic on the road.

Quote
Oh I forgot to mention that the "intersection mod" that you've implemented is rather unrealistic as it gives big congestion on both the entrance and exit of intersections even when the total traffic is largely oneway. This probably is unavoidable.. I dunno ;)

Actually, this is intended, as "congestion" here is different from normal congestion, and is just used to slow down the traffic to simulate a stop light.  Even when you have maximum congestion on both sides of an intersection, the result is equivalent only to a very short stoplight.  The reason for this is that even with maximum congestion (full red), traffic never drops below 30% of the network's nominal speed.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on August 20, 2009, 11:50:12 PM
Quote from: z on August 20, 2009, 10:54:51 PM
In order to be compatible with RHW and NWM, all recent traffic simulators have the capacity of one-way roads set to be the same as standard roads.  This is actually how things work in the real world anyway.  The original Maxis simulator had the capacity as twice that of normal roads, but that's completely unrealistic.  One-way roads provide the biggest boost in SC4 when there is a large difference between morning and evening commute traffic on the road.

I rather dissagree.. in real life one ways DO significantly decrease congestion and boost capacity. why do you think crowded cities have one ways? If it didn't matter they wouldn't bother. I mean they're a PITA from a realworld perspective, but highly useful. This issue like the bus issue are simply counter reality.. (independent of whether it "gives good simulation" or not)

Quote...even with maximum congestion (full red), traffic never drops below 30% of the network's nominal speed.

That's rather re-assuring.

BTW while I'm talking at ya, I have another question.. not really simulator related, but I figure you know the game mechanics as well as anyone.. I am NOT a "My Sim" kind of guy nor do I really pretend to understand the in's and out's of them.. I do however they somehow reflect in their "opinions" the issues as the game sees them. I have a "My Sim" who says, under the heading "SIMX work commute a no-go", he lives in a "bermuda triangle" and can't get to /from work. Yet I can click the very building where he lives and there is traffic shown on the query. Do you have an idea of what is trying to be conveyed in this message?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Swamper77 on August 21, 2009, 12:15:47 AM
Quote from: SC4BOY on August 20, 2009, 11:50:12 PM
BTW while I'm talking at ya, I have another question.. not really simulator related, but I figure you know the game mechanics as well as anyone.. I am NOT a "My Sim" kind of guy nor do I really pretend to understand the in's and out's of them.. I do however they somehow reflect in their "opinions" the issues as the game sees them. I have a "My Sim" who says, under the heading "SIMX work commute a no-go", he lives in a "bermuda triangle" and can't get to /from work. Yet I can click the very building where he lives and there is traffic shown on the query. Do you have an idea of what is trying to be conveyed in this message?

It is my understanding that this message means that it is taking too long for them to get to a suitable job for their wealth level or that there are not enough jobs for their wealth level. Keep in mind that a workplace employs very few of the upper level workers. For example, an I-HT is going to have fewer $$$ workers than $$ workers.

-Jan
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 21, 2009, 12:26:39 AM
Quote from: SC4BOY on August 20, 2009, 11:50:12 PM
I rather dissagree.. in real life one ways DO significantly decrease congestion and boost capacity. why do you think crowded cities have one ways? If it didn't matter they wouldn't bother. I mean they're a PITA from a realworld perspective, but highly useful. This issue like the bus issue are simply counter reality.. (independent of whether it "gives good simulation" or not)

Capacity is essentially determined by the number of lanes and the speed of the roadway.  Congestion is often less on one-ways in RL because of things such as timed traffic lights, which can't be simulated in SC4.  (Traffic lights of any kind can't even be properly simulated.)  However, the way congestion is calculated in SC4 tends to offset this, and it is my experience that one-way roads in SC4 definitely do suffer less from congestion.  And again, due to the requirements of RHW and NWM, I just don't have the option of giving them a higher capacity than regular roads.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on August 21, 2009, 12:48:32 AM
SC4BOY, to perhaps shed a little more light on the whole One-Way Road issue . . .

Say you've got a Road heading north-south, capacity at 2400 as in Sim Z Low.  The Morning Commute shows in the Route Query as having a volume of 2400 heading north, and the Evening Commute shows as having a volume of 2400 heading south.  Since the game calculates congestion based on Morning+Evening, the overall volume would be 4800 and the game would read the road as being at 200% capacity.

Now, let's say that Road is converted into a One-Way Road, and there's a parallel One-Way a block away, forming a couplet.  The Road you converted into a One-Way Road now only takes northbound traffic--2400.  The One-Way Road is only at 100% capacity as a result, half of what it had been.  The southbound traffic has been shifted over to the other half of the couplet.

The "doubling" that Maxis did in the default traffic simulator actually results in the One-Way Road network having 4x the capacity.  And the settings they put the Avenue at result in 5x capacity over a Road.

As z mentioned, this equalization is necessary for the proper functionality of the as-of-yet unreleased Network Widening Mod (NWM).  How?  Well, most of the multi-tile networks are Road-based overrides, as they provide more flexibility than messing around with 2-tile networks.  The 6-lane Avenue (AVE-6) that is planned to eventually be included is a 3-tile-wide network.  With the default Maxis settings (1000 capacity for Road, 2000 capacity for OWR, 2500 capacity for Avenue), the AVE-6 has a theoretical capacity of 3000*, being made of 3 tiles of road.  The default 4-lane Avenue network has a capacity of 2500 per tile, meaning the overall capacity is 5000.  As such, it means the 6-lane Avenue only has 60% of the capacity of the 4-lane Avenue, which makes absolutely no sense.  And it has only 75% of the capacity of two parallel OWRs, which also makes absolutely no sense.

*It's actually lower with the Maxis Simulator due to how the Intersection and Turn Capacity Effect is set.  The AVE-6 network uses crossover paths, and as such, the game considers orthogonal AVE-6 tiles to be intersections, and applies the first value of the Intersection and Turn Capacity to their capacity.  With the Maxis setting of 0.7 (70%), this means the AVE-6 actually only has a capacity of 2100 (700 per tile), only 42% of the default Avenue. 

Hope that explains everything a little better.

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: the7train on August 24, 2009, 07:17:44 AM
Quote from: z on August 20, 2009, 01:17:45 PM
Yes, yes, and no.

Simulator Z is set so that the Sims are always able to get to any of the neighboring tiles.  Since their commute time is reset once they enter a new tile, there is theoretically no limit on how far they are willing to travel.  But for various reasons which are a bit complex to go into here, it's very difficult to get them to commute more than a few tiles.  Yet that should be plenty for most people, and in real-world terms, it's not a long commute, as each tile is only 4 km long.

Thanks Z, that does clear it up for me slightly.  However, I think there actually is a limit if you factor in congestion because occaisionally I do see no job zots because of commute time.  If Simulator Z was set so Sims can always get to a neighboring city, then I should never see no job zots due to commute time, correct?  I guess my revised question is how does congestion affect commute times?  For example, if a road is at 200% capacity, will that double the commute time?

Thanks!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 24, 2009, 12:53:05 PM
Yes, no-job zots that claim to be due to commute time occasionally appear in Simulator Z and don't go away, leading to abandonment.  But this happens far less frequently than in any other traffic simulator, even the other Perfect Pathfinding ones.  And these zots don't happen because the Sims have run out of commute time; the maximum commute time in Simulator Z is set to (a seemingly ridiculous) five hours each way.  The reason that number was chosen was that the maximum commute time also affects the likelihood that Sims will commute to other cities, and experiments showed that this number was just right to allow significant inter-city car commuting without slowing down the game.

So with Simulator Z, there are now two reasons you can get permanent no-job zots:

1. There simply aren't enough of the right kind of jobs available for the Sims who want them; or

2. The underlying Maxis traffic simulator engine is still less than perfect about finding jobs for Sims, and it occasionally misses valid paths, even when "Perfect Pathfinding" and various other optimizations are used in the plug-in.

The first reason you can fix.  The second reason no one can fix, at least not without access to the source code.

Notice that unlike other traffic simulators, congestion is not one of these reasons.  Congestion does affect commute time, but in Simulator Z, the Sims always have as much as they need.  This is like RL, where people can choose to live as far away from their job as they want; they just allow themselves enough time to get to their jobs each day.  Congestion still plays a real role in Simulator Z, though, as it helps determine which paths the Sims will take.  Since they always like to take the fastest routes, they avoid congestion when it slows things down too much.

As for the effect of congestion on commute time, the volume of a network divided by its capacity has a direct effect on speed.  The biggest speed reduction comes when you see solid red; this always means that the speed at that point in the network is 30% of the network's nominal speed.  It is impossible to go lower than that, and believe me, people have tried.  This 30% number and the solid red color are reached in Simulator Z when a network is at 250% of capacity.

EDIT:  I should add that that 30% limit is a game bug.  We can actually put in lower numbers, but they have no effect on the speed, and they cause other bugs to manifest (e.g., the notorious Traffic Congestion Display bug).  For realistic effects, it would be good to use a lower limit of about 5%, but this just isn't possible.

EDIT 2:  Interestingly enough, there used to be a traffic simulator that featured 10x speeds and 10x commute times, and it was especially good for inter-city commuting.  It has shown that these values are equivalent in many ways to 1x speeds and 100x commute times, although keeping speeds unchanged is better for various reasons.  And that's what Simulator Z does, although its results were obtained independently by experiment.  The original Maxis simulator used a commute time of 6 minutes, while Simulator Z uses 600.  So Simulator Z essentially uses 1x speeds (approximately) and  100x commute time.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: the7train on August 25, 2009, 08:40:37 AM
Wow great explanation!  I was trying to ease some congestion getting onto my highways thinking that was the issue.  To fix situation 1, is it best to just bulldoze the abandoned houses so that they'll grow again?  Or will the game just rebuild them?  Thanks so much!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 25, 2009, 12:35:43 PM
It's not necessary to bulldoze the buildings; when demand gets high enough, the Sims just move back in.  On the other hand, bulldozing the buildings can sometimes speed up the whole process.  In the end, much of it depends on how much you like the current buildings.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: packerfan386 on August 28, 2009, 11:52:55 PM
Hey, I was wondering what could be causing the game to suddenly revert to (sc4 vanilla) limits on commute times and whole large developments of buildings (houses) started abandoning due to commute times? The main CBD is only 2 city tiles away w/ little relative congestion between. Even completely reinstalling NAM and related files didn't help as when I clicked on ANY button on the mayor menu the game reverted to the Vanilla simulator.
I have Sim Z ultra installed and have the latest NAM, RHW, and updated NAM Essentials. Please Help!
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 29, 2009, 01:40:52 AM
Could you be more specific about what you mean by "reverting to the Vanilla simulator"?  What specifically did you observe, besides what you described?  What information are you using when you mention limits on commute times?  And what exactly is the change that happens when you click on a button on the mayor menu?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: packerfan386 on August 29, 2009, 11:34:44 PM
Quote from: z on August 29, 2009, 01:40:52 AM
Could you be more specific about what you mean by "reverting to the Vanilla simulator"?  What specifically did you observe, besides what you described?  What information are you using when you mention limits on commute times?  And what exactly is the change that happens when you click on a button on the mayor menu?
1. It reverts to the SC4 default limits on commute times
2. Whole housing developments in my (well connected) suburbs have to abandoned due to "commute times"
3. The sim (z) was working fine up until I loaded one particular city and every thing has gone to dogs (stopped working) sense then.
4. After Reinstalling, the NAM simulators worked as normal until I clicked on the utilities button (to be specific) in the mayor menu, the game sputtered (froze) for a second and then it reverted the default times.

Hope This Helps/ Please Help 

regards Matthew
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 30, 2009, 10:44:33 PM
I'm still a bit confused by your reply.  The commute time limits are normally never visible during game play, so on what basis are you saying that they revert to the default?  There's also no real way for that to happen that I know of, as once you load Simulator Z, the default settings are simply erased.

The only thing the user can normally see about the commute times is the Commute Time Graph, though it doesn't show any limits.  This graph is notoriously inaccurate due to a bug in the game.  I've made it about as accurate as possible in Simulator Z, but it should never be relied upon.

To me, it sounds like a lot of your problem is related to the following:

Quote from: packerfan386 on August 29, 2009, 11:34:44 PM
3. The sim (z) was working fine up until I loaded one particular city and every thing has gone to dogs (stopped working) sense then.

This would seem to say that that city got corrupted in some way (unrelated to the simulator), and that corruption is the source of your problems.  Does this abandonment problem happen in other cities?

Then there's this:

Quote4. After Reinstalling, the NAM simulators worked as normal until I clicked on the utilities button (to be specific) in the mayor menu, the game sputtered (froze) for a second and then it reverted the default times.

Is this in your corrupted city, or in all cities?  Again, this does not sound like a traffic simulator problem.  It's possible that you have an incompatible mod, or some other problem with your plugins.  Try removing everything except the NAM from your plugins, and then build a new city in a new region and see if you have any problems.  I doubt that you will.  If this is the case, you'll have to find the plugins that are causing your problems; older game mods are the ones most likely to be responsible.  Be especially sure that you don't have any that are labeled as being not compatible with the NAM.

Finally, I'm assuming that you're using either the Rush Hour or Deluxe version of SC4.  These are required to use the NAM.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on August 30, 2009, 11:38:51 PM
Doesn't hurt if you've applied all the EA patches and updates too.. ;)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: woodb3kmaster on September 03, 2009, 06:24:04 PM
To avoid the continued hijacking of the traffic simulator poll thread, I'm continuing discussion of the following problem over here, as you asked:

Quote from: woodb3kmasterAlso, I want to add my own $0.02 about getting plagues of no-job zots in certain neighborhoods. I've been experiencing this very problem in one of my cities - things are fine for a few months, then BAM! Every house in the new subdivision has a zot hovering over it like some dark cloud of doom and anguish, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, in my case the zots usually stick around long enough to cause mass abandonment (although it's not immediately obvious since I use a no-dilapidation mod). Unlike the situation you described, though, these new neighborhoods have more than one connection to the rest of town, although these connections all have RTMT bus stops on them and cross railroads, IIRC.

Your recommendation was to remove the no-dilapidation and less-abandonment mods I had been using, which I have done. However, I still have parts of certain cities that go through cyclical mass-abandonments. You also said that you didn't think the RTMT stops were the cause of this problem, but that still leaves the question of whether at-grade railroad crossings would cause this. I have a few scattered no-job zots in many of my large cities, but the only areas that go through these mass abandonments are typically across railroads from any available jobs.

For thoroughness' sake, I'll mention that I'm using Simulator Z Medium. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

EDIT: The mods I took out are bones1's Less Abandonment (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=14931) mod and RalphaelNinja's Abandonment Dilapidation Modd 1.2 (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=21351). These may or may not conflict with each other or the NAM, but I imagine you know if they do.

EDIT 2: After playing the city where this "zot plague" is most noticeable for the first time since removing the aforementioned mods, I can say with great certainty that railroad crossings are not the culprit in this mystery, as the plague has spread to include neighborhoods that aren't isolated by railroads. Unfortunately, now that those mods are out of my plugins folder, I now have large blackened areas of town, revealing the true extent of this plague.

EDIT 3: During my latest gaming session, all the no-job zots disappeared. All of them. Gone. I thought that maybe the tastyzots cheat had somehow been toggled on, but I was able to find a few no-road-connection zots, so that wasn't the case. I haven't changed traffic simulators or (un)installed any mods since removing the dilapidation/abandonment mods, so this appears to be a quirk of the game. I've had this happen before in another city in the same region, but that was when I was using Simulator A. Curiouser and curiouser...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on September 10, 2009, 04:43:16 AM
I have a similar question.. and I'm not saying it is the z simulator since I recall i had similar problems years ago without CAM and without z-sim (I'm using high if that matters). The city is about 180k C, 110k R and 50k I. If I just sit and watch , the C population will cycle every 6 months (ie 3 months up and 3 months down) from about 175k to 210k C causing naturally continual dilapition/renewal processes. I and R are steady to slightly growing. Demand is mid to high in all except farming (0), R$$$ (-1000) and dirty industry (-2000) which are about where I want these at this point.

I recall that in the old SC3000 a natural cycle was overlaid on the demand, but RippleJet said he doesn't think this exists for SC4. Any thoughts on why this cycle would exist?

Oh I guess I should mention that I have the World Trade Center thing in this city which has a CO$$$ capacity of 52000 or so.. this is mostly where the cycle is being absorbed as it goes from about 17k (dilapidated looking but never abandoned so far) to about 48k during each cycle
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 11, 2009, 07:35:40 PM
First of all, my apologies for not getting back to woodb3kmaster sooner - it's been a busy week, and I wasn't quite sure what the problem was.  But waiting may have been the best course here, as from the start this did not seem to be a traffic simulator problem, and with waiting, it went away.  I don't think it's a coincidence that this happened after you took out those two mods.  My best guess here is that those mods were causing your problems, and the benefits of removing them just took a while to percolate through your city.

Quote from: SC4BOY on September 10, 2009, 04:43:16 AM
I have a similar question.. and I'm not saying it is the z simulator since I recall i had similar problems years ago without CAM and without z-sim (I'm using high if that matters). The city is about 180k C, 110k R and 50k I. If I just sit and watch , the C population will cycle every 6 months (ie 3 months up and 3 months down) from about 175k to 210k C causing naturally continual dilapition/renewal processes. I and R are steady to slightly growing. Demand is mid to high in all except farming (0), R$$$ (-1000) and dirty industry (-2000) which are about where I want these at this point.

When I was running the CAM traffic simulator (and later, predecessors to Simulator Z) in my favorite test city, the Near South Side of Chicago, I experienced similar boom-and-bust cycles.  There was a lot of commercial demand not too far away, so the Sims would start building huge residentials like crazy.  But the traffic simulator wasn't smart enough to route the Sims to them properly, so the Sims couldn't get jobs, and the residentials were abandoned.  This cycle would happen repeatedly until I improved the traffic simulator to the point where the Sims could all get to the jobs.  Now, finally, everything is stable there, with the huge residentials standing and continuously occupied.

Quote
I recall that in the old SC3000 a natural cycle was overlaid on the demand, but RippleJet said he doesn't think this exists for SC4. Any thoughts on why this cycle would exist?

Yes, I remember that cycle in SC3K well, and I agree with RippleJet that it doesn't appear to exist in SC4.  However, there are well-documented cycles that can be triggered by demand levels in neighboring cities; the Prima guide goes into these a lot.  These cycles tend to happen when you play only one city for a long time, and don't let its neighbors grow.  Rotating play among cities is the best way to minimize this effect.

Quote
Oh I guess I should mention that I have the World Trade Center thing in this city which has a CO$$$ capacity of 52000 or so.. this is mostly where the cycle is being absorbed as it goes from about 17k (dilapidated looking but never abandoned so far) to about 48k during each cycle

Oh yes, you certainly should mention that!  ;)  Having huge commercial buildings in a small city can easily destabilize things.  My guess is that there's a lot of residential demand due to the WTC, so the Sims build a lot trying to fulfill it.  But for various reasons unique to your city, the mix of Sims who move into your city is not identical to what that building requires for workers.  So enough Sims remain unemployed that housing becomes abandoned.  Yet that building still needs workers, so the Sims start building again...  That's my guess; RippleJet would probably know a lot more, and seeing the details of your city's demand would reveal a lot.  But I think I've got the basic idea right here.  You could always try saving a copy of your city, then demolishing the WTC and see what happens.  My guess is that things will settle down then.  In any case, this is not a traffic simulator problem.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on September 11, 2009, 11:31:31 PM
Quote from: z on September 11, 2009, 07:35:40 PM
There was a lot of commercial demand not too far away, so the Sims would start building huge residentials like crazy.  ... route the Sims to them properly, so the Sims couldn't get jobs, and the residentials were abandoned.  This cycle would happen repeatedly until I improved the traffic simulator to the point where the Sims could all get to the jobs.  Now, finally, everything is stable there, with the huge residentials standing and continuously occupied.

Actually (thought I made it clear.. sorry) it is PURELY a C cycle..in fact CO$$$.  R is steady to growing, I is steady to growing (both slowly) In the whole thing, I've never had a R dilapidate or a "no job" zot..(well I won't say never.. I guess it does occasionally happen while I'm developing transport systems.. but not as a part of this cycle thing) If anything, R is still lagging C development significantly as this is a "jobs market" city with job capacity exceding residence supply and sim's generally commuting in. I'm sure if I looked at the repository I'd see that there is large "vacancy" in this city which is filled by "SimNation". To the best of my memory all demands are steady plus (maybe a bit of variation, but no negative demands are a part of the cycle in R or I)

QuoteThese cycles tend to happen when you play only one city for a long time, and don't let its neighbors grow.  Rotating play among cities is the best way to minimize this effect.

Actually, I'm almost religious about rotating cities if I let the simulator run.. I play until I start to see a general flattening of growth, then I shut it down and move on. Generally I'll play through all 23 or so citytiles before I go back. Usually this means I play a given city from 9-12 months (for "static" cities I don't plan to grow) to 4 or 5 years (if there is strong development). In fact even when I am still having strong growth, I'll still cycle cities after 10%-25% growth. When I  started to see the CO$$$ cycles, I let it run just to investigate.. but didn't save it. It will go on for many years (at least 10 years or about 20 complete cycles. I quite watching after that time, but they showed no sign of lessening)

QuoteHaving huge commercial buildings in a small city can easily destabilize things.  My guess is that there's a lot of residential demand due to the WTC, so the Sims build a lot trying to fulfill it.  But for various reasons unique to your city, the mix of Sims who move into your city is not identical to what that building requires for workers.  So enough Sims remain unemployed that housing becomes abandoned.  Yet that building still needs workers, so the Sims start building again...  That's my guess; RippleJet would probably know a lot more, and seeing the details of your city's demand would reveal a lot.  But I think I've got the basic idea right here.  You could always try saving a copy of your city, then demolishing the WTC and see what happens.  My guess is that things will settle down then.  In any case, this is not a traffic simulator problem.

Yes, well this is part of the problem of BAT teams making the "rewards" come up too soon. That is the "reward" version placed after I was offered it.. and I was interesting in trying it as I hadn't used it before. But the city isn't that "small".. its 1/3 million RCI total.. but of course compared to the 52000 CO$$$ rating, its "small" I guess.. lol.. It would be REALLY SWEET if this WTC were to be made a "phased reward" with first the ground lots and maybe 12000 jobs, then one tower with maybe 15000 added jobs, then finally the second tower added with maybe 20000 jobs.. or even could be broken down further as it really has some nice models on it with 3 "base" buildings and 2 large towers all on a pretty nice plaza lot.. so it could be 5 stages too.. Don't know it that's possible. The lot has a construction "place holder" which is a very nice design.. the rewards each could step through "expanding construction" showing until the lot is complete.. Don't know if that's possible or not. I was pretty impressed with the lot.
And your comment is probably appropriate.. I'm not sure what would happen if I deleted it.. and if I use it in the future I'll certainly delay building it. (I'm entranced by my "Staged Reward" idea.. hehe) Anyways.. on with the details....

In a sense this building is kind of handy as it absorbs almost all the fluctuation of the cycle.. thats another reason I mention it since it coincidently is the same order of magnitude as the cycle spread. It ranges from an almost abandoned 15000 or so up to a very healthy nearly 50000 jobs (judged by the capacity ratios shown on the query) My traffic into it is only about 3000.. I'd love to have it much closer to the capacity.. The city is not "DENSE" yet as most zones are medium outside the center area of the tile

As I mention, I rarely have R and I cycles. Furthermore I have very little imbalance in intercity traffic.. I never have more than a 2:1 ratio in sims leaving to sims entering a given citytile unless its part of my specific plan.. Other than one specific R$ source that I use to supply several cities.. It has a net egress of 10's of thousands and only 1 or 2 thousand coming in.. mostly R$$ and R$$$. And I use taxes to control demands so that I don't get the big "build/bust" residential cycles.. also I'm a slow, steady player.. I don't just slap a giant swath of zones down and go.. I "develop" the areas as if they were growing.. at least that's the idea.

Anyways.. I'm not expecting you to "solve my problem".. just thought you might have some ideas and insights.. its really not a issue to me as the city is working fine.. but I never see this kind of cycling generally so thought I'd ask.

PS: I know this is sort of off topic for your simulator, so feel free to move these last few messages to a separate thread if you want.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: RickD on September 13, 2009, 09:09:32 AM
I don't know if this is the right place to ask. But since I switched from Sim A hard to Z medium lately I figured it might be related.

Since when do Sims walk from job to job?

Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on September 13, 2009, 09:25:22 AM
Quote from: RickD on September 13, 2009, 09:09:32 AM
Since when do Sims walk from job to job?

When you've accidentally installed the park-and-ride version. ;)  Just switch to a non-park-and-ride and things will be back to normal.

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Blue Lightning on September 13, 2009, 10:26:43 AM
Um Alex I think he's referring to the fact that sims are walking from a C to a C :P

My guess is that you installed that RCI mod that appeared on the STEX a while back? Or you recently rezoned the area and the simulator just needs time to reset. Try running the game for a little while.

Vince
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on September 13, 2009, 10:42:38 AM
Quote from: Blue Lightning on September 13, 2009, 10:26:43 AM
Um Alex I think he's referring to the fact that sims are walking from a C to a C :P

D'oh!  I hadn't noticed that bit. 

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 13, 2009, 06:14:35 PM
I would tend to concur with Vince here.  Sims do walk more with Simulator Z, but there's no reason they should walk from a C to a C.  (Unless they're interviewing for another job, of course.  ;D )  I would expect such a situation to disappear with the next run of the traffic simulator.  Please let us know if it doesn't.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: 46852 on September 14, 2009, 12:42:52 AM
Quote from: z on August 04, 2009, 09:26:51 PM
The reason for having buses is to simulate the role of buses in a real city. 

I still don't understand what advantage do the buses give to me & my city when using Simulator Z, other than eye candy? They're slower than cars, and cause congestion as much as cars do. I'm not sure if you've explained it before (I've tried to browse through all Traffic Sim Z threads) but why do the buses have to cause congestion as much as car traffic does in your simulator? I used to use buses as congestion relief and traffic pollution reducing method (they are this in real life, aren't they), but in Sim Z they are neither. Why should I build them? I don't want my bus stops to be mere eye candy props :(


EDIT:

How would a setup that had buses not cause congestion but had them move even slower (to simulate stops) work?

PPS. Why does mass transit cause pollution in Sim Z? Does the "cause pollution" tag allow you to tweak some other side of the traffic sim or something?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 14, 2009, 01:56:15 AM
Quote from: 46852 on September 14, 2009, 12:42:52 AM
I still don't understand what advantage do the buses give to me & my city when using Simulator Z, other than eye candy?

A certain proportion of Sims, which varies by wealth level, prefers to take mass transit rather than drive cars.  Buses are by far the cheapest form of mass transit to construct and run, and they require little or no real estate.  For those Sims that prefer to take mass transit, buses are a simple and inexpensive way to satisfy their needs.

QuoteThey're slower than cars, and cause congestion as much as cars do. I'm not sure if you've explained it before (I've tried to browse through all Traffic Sim Z threads) but why do the buses have to cause congestion as much as car traffic does in your simulator? I used to use buses as congestion relief and traffic pollution reducing method (they are this in real life, aren't they), but in Sim Z they are neither. Why should I build them? I don't want my bus stops to be mere eye candy props :(

Unfortunately, we have no control over how much congestion a travel type causes - there's just a binary setting that says a travel type will either contribute to traffic (and congestion) or not.  Similarly, to answer your PPS, there's no separate setting for pollution - all travel types that contribute to traffic automatically contribute to pollution, and by the same amount.  One thing I have done in Simulator Z is to reduce this amount significantly, as it was really too high for NAM traffic volumes.  This difference is quite visible if you look at air pollution along roads in Simulator Z compared to any of the other traffic simulators.  (For this to work, you must have the Clean Air Act enabled, though.)

The buses are definitely not mere eye candy, for the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph.  Having them contribute to traffic allows the traffic simulator to more intelligently distribute the Sims among various forms of mass transit.  In the near future, it will allow a reasonable simulation of bus lanes (although this will not be visible with the automata).  Previously, buses were always the travel type of last resort, and if other travel types became full, the traffic simulator would just stuff more and more Sims into buses (which were run by the infamous Black Hole Bus Company).  Not only did it throw the traffic simulation off, but it's not how real transit systems work at all.  There's no question that Simulator Z's system is not completely realistic, but complete realism simply is not possible here given the underlying Maxis engine, and Simulator Z's system consistently appears to produce the most realistic-looking results.

QuoteHow would a setup that had buses not cause congestion but had them move even slower (to simulate stops) work?

That would only make things worse, as it would encourage Sims to switch to cars, and buses would be used even more as the last resort option I described above, and nothing else.  This would result in very unrealistic traffic patterns.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: 46852 on September 14, 2009, 02:55:44 AM
Quote from: z on September 14, 2009, 01:56:15 AM
A certain proportion of Sims, which varies by wealth level, prefers to take mass transit rather than drive cars.  Buses are by far the cheapest form of mass transit to construct and run, and they require little or no real estate.  For those Sims that prefer to take mass transit, buses are a simple and inexpensive way to satisfy their needs.

But isn't it so that if there is no mass transit available for the sims who'd prefer it, they drive their car instead (or walk, which has nicely improved in Sim Z!). If bus is slower, congests traffic and pollutes as much, there's simply no imperative to build a bus system at all!

You mentioned "satisfying their needs", is there some unhappiness factor if certain mass transits aren't provided?

PS. Don't get me wrong here by the way, I really appreciate all the magic stuff you're doing with Simcity 4 traffic sim, keep up the good work! I'm just sad to see the Black Hole Bus Company going bankrupt ;)
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: Eagle on September 15, 2009, 06:09:13 PM
One of the main uses for bus is traffic distribution for connected cities.  For example, a large population city will be connected to several job market cities using several main lines (normally use some type of rail).  Once the hordes of sims get to the job market city via rail, I get them off of the rail & on to buses to get to their jobs.  That way, you don't have to build vast rail or subway networks with stations on every block.  Just plop 100 bus stops & you are done. 

Another use of bus is to control who uses your other mass transit.  Instead of placing parking garages at the mass transit station, place a bus stop.  Then, place bus stops only in the residential areas that you want to use the mass transit.  This is a great way to keep the sims in your job market cities from ussing up the mass transit capacity meant for your main city sims.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 16, 2009, 03:51:17 AM
Quote from: 46852 on September 14, 2009, 02:55:44 AM
But isn't it so that if there is no mass transit available for the sims who'd prefer it, they drive their car instead (or walk, which has nicely improved in Sim Z!). If bus is slower, congests traffic and pollutes as much, there's simply no imperative to build a bus system at all!

Some Sims don't have cars, or prefer not to drive; taking the bus is cheaper than driving, and it's a lot faster than walking.  SC4 is just like RL in these ways, and these ideas are effectively built into the traffic simulator.  For the poor Sim who has no car, or can't afford to use his or hers much, buses are great.  Most people (at least in this country) don't base their choice of whether to take the bus or drive based on pollution considerations (though some do).  The main purpose of building a bus system is to provide Sims with cheap transportation.  Eagle also raises some very valid points.

Quote
You mentioned "satisfying their needs", is there some unhappiness factor if certain mass transits aren't provided?

Certain percentages of each Sim wealth type prefer to take mass transit.  If they can't, they'll drive, but they're penalized in terms of commute time.

Finally, bus lanes are coming.  Their implementation would not be possible if buses did not contribute to traffic.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on September 21, 2009, 12:01:42 PM
I am trying to use another person's dataview mod.. It seems that when I load the z-mod and its included data view, that it is overriding his mod.. Is that true? Is it possible to  use both? He addresses the DESIRABILITY view which isn't part of your view as I understand it.. Here's exerpts  from his doc's

EDIT: Hmm I note over on ST you mention that you have used it and it works fine.. perhaps you can let me know what was needed to make it work with your mod.. thx

Quote
=====   THL DataView Detail Mod v1.0   =====
...
- Extract the contents of this ZIP to any subfolder of your C:\SimCity4\Plugins directory.

== Description ==

This mod increases the detail visible on the high end of the color spectum for the Desirability, Mayor Rating, and Land Value data views, allowing more distinction where areas of a city used to be solid green. It also increases the max value visible on the Mayor Rating Graph from 100 to the game maximum of 128.

The number of jobs available on a lot is directly proportional to the desirability of the area it's in, so lots with a desirability of less than 50% will have under half thier normal capacity filled. This is now indicated by red.

"Default" mayor rating (without any other effects) is around 30, this is now brown. Anything below default rating is red to clear (rock bottom for mayor rating and health/education effects is transparent, since that's what non-residential zones display).
...
== Contact Information ==
Simtropolis forum thread (http://www.simtropolis.com/idealbb/view.asp?topicID=55875) (no longer accessable at ST.. lost during the last attack/crash..)
Screename: Thalassicus (PM me at Simtropolis.com)

I don't know if the mod is available elsewhere. I don't see it listed at STEX, but from the description, I'm pretty sure you can easily see what's being done.. if you want the file, I can PM you about it.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 21, 2009, 01:11:26 PM
Yes, I use this mod heavily.  There should be no conflict between it and either Simulator Z or the new data views, which are completely different from the data views used in this mod.  Try just putting this mod in the top level of your Plugins directory.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: SC4BOY on September 25, 2009, 02:42:45 PM
haha.. well I think you're right.. and in truth I think it was working all the time.. I happened to be using it on cities that were already pretty maxed.. I used it on a new city (actually fooling with the Timbuktu tutorial) and found that it seems to be working fine.. Sorry I bothered you with this one.. In fact I'd like even better resolution sort of like the great work you did on the traffic view..
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: gabrielbyrnei on December 28, 2009, 05:32:21 PM
Hi, is there any way of changing the type of underlying network the volume date view shows?

For example, i want to know at what volume an elevated highway if functioning, but the volume view is showing it for roads.

Thanks
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on December 28, 2009, 05:50:23 PM
Quote from: gabrielbyrnei on December 28, 2009, 05:32:21 PM
Hi, is there any way of changing the type of underlying network the volume date view shows?

For example, i want to know at what volume an elevated highway if functioning, but the volume view is showing it for roads.

Unfortunately, this is not possible.  It appears that there are a fixed number of network views (I've tried adding others), and within the various road views, the different road networks all all treated the same; there is no way to differentiate between them.  Since roads are generally the most prevalent of all the road-type networks by far, I have used them as a reference for these views.  And although the colors on the highways don't correspond to congestion levels, they do represent the volume levels properly, following the legend on the right like everything else.  With our current state of knowledge, this is the best we can do.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: gabrielbyrnei on December 28, 2009, 05:58:05 PM
Thanks for your answer
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: six9nc on January 16, 2010, 08:35:15 AM
I have read all of the post and I tried using sim-z with one of my older large cities (235K) and holy cow the traffic went to red and I got air pollution all over the city.  Then of course the typical population drop and abandonment.  Luckily I didnt save when all that happened instead I built some heavy rail to light rail switches.  I tried it again and it was worse.  So basically my show pony city is a ticking time bomb the next time I run the game since I saved after I built the light rail :angrymore:...I have a decent subway system but rely on heavy rail to transport suburban workers to the several commercial nodes in the city.  The CDB is non-CAM big buildings with the largest concentration of subways.  I also have the full compliment of mass transit but apparently the game thinks I have a huge congestion problem.  It is a fairly dense city. I like to build cities as close to real as possible so some areas are dense and there are areas of large SFHs.  I need help guys; I wanna rescue my pride and joy so any suggestions will be taken very seriously.
Just to give a scope of the size of the city.
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg524.imageshack.us%2Fimg524%2F9616%2Fwyecombingbayaug2890126.png&hash=282399ade5975120befa9bac45184d5fe8b1c8e2) (http://img524.imageshack.us/i/wyecombingbayaug2890126.png/)
Sim-z works fine for my existing medium size cities.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on January 16, 2010, 03:14:15 PM
The good news is that this is unlikely to be a problem with Simulator Z, and it should be easily fixable.  However, I'll need a little more information to figure out what the problem is.  First of all, which version of Simulator Z are you using?  I'll need the exact name of the file from your Network Addon Mod folder; it's the file that has "Plugin_Z" in its name.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: six9nc on January 17, 2010, 09:00:49 AM
network addonmod-traffic plugin z medium
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on January 17, 2010, 03:20:19 PM
Do you have the Clean Air Act turned on?  Do you have any mods installed that affect traffic (besides the NAM)?  Which travel type is causing the congestion?  Please post a shot of the Traffic Volume Data View with that travel type selected.  If it's one of the mass transit types, please also post a shot of the Road Traffic selection in the Traffic Volume Data View.  Also, please post your extended RCI Demand Graph.

Simulator Z should not cause either excess pollution or abandonment, so it would seem that something else is going on here.  I would also suggest searching your Plugins folders for a copy of another traffic simulator that may be overriding Simulator Z.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: cubby420 on January 24, 2010, 12:22:20 PM
I have a question regarding the interaction of NAM traffic simulator Z and different RTMT capacities. In essence, I am woefully slow with these things and am kinda losing my head reading through the threads on these topics. I am attempting to make the switch to simulator Z, as I find many of the features intriguing and realistic, though I also want to adapt my RTMT capacity to a proper level to get the best and most true to life simulation.

Just to give everyone an idea of my typical playstyle, I rarely build giant metropolises and generally stick to small or large towns and small cities. I've never to my recollection constructed a city with population over 200,000 on a large city tile; this estimate already is much higher than my typical endeavor. I sprawl rather grow upwards. I normally integrate local rail, ground highways, and bus stops, with a small amount of GLR in central districts for most of my mass transport needs, and it more or less works for me if I need it to.

Essentially, I am confused about which simulator Z level(s) and RTMT capacity level(s) would best suit my playstyle and if periodic switching between different ones for different cities is the best way to go. Any help anyone could provide would be great!  ;D
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: k808j on January 24, 2010, 01:05:29 PM
@cubby420

I recommend z_low and all the applicable RTMT low settings since your play style is small towns and cities.

@z

Is that modified ninja boulavard patch still needed with RTMT 3.6/Sim Z V2.1?
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on January 24, 2010, 01:41:00 PM
Quote from: cubby420 on January 24, 2010, 12:22:20 PM
Essentially, I am confused about which simulator Z level(s) and RTMT capacity level(s) would best suit my playstyle and if periodic switching between different ones for different cities is the best way to go. Any help anyone could provide would be great!  ;D

I agree with k808j that Simulator Z (Low) would probably be best for you.  You can always switch capacity levels without penalty, but I doubt that you will need to do so.

As for the RTMT stations, it turns out that all transit station capacities are misleading, and don't reflect the stations' actual capacity at all.  Transit station capacity simply doesn't work in the manner that it is shown.  (See this post (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=9552.msg292449#msg292449) for further details.)  As a result, the Low capacity is being eliminated in the next release of RTMT (although stations built with that capacity will still function properly).  Therefore, I recommend that everyone using RTMT use the High capacity version, regardless of what traffic simulator they're using.

Quote from: k808j on January 24, 2010, 01:05:29 PM
Is that modified ninja boulavard patch still needed with RTMT 3.6/Sim Z V2.1?

Yes; that patch will continue to be recommended for future RTMT versions as well.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: cubby420 on January 24, 2010, 04:44:45 PM
Thanks both to k808j and z for the assist.

That's a very interesting post as well z. Very bizarre the ways this game functions sometimes...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: six9nc on January 27, 2010, 01:19:11 PM
I investigating and it wasnt the Z it was my air pollution getting out of hand.  Kinda weird how it manifest itself so late.  Anyway planted trees and put in more mass transit also used a few air purifiers and poof the problem went away in about a year.   Thanks anyways for the suggestions.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on April 20, 2010, 08:22:19 AM
In this post I raise some questions about Simulator Z in the context of the Eternal Commuter syndrom. I hope that this is the proper place for the post.

A number of old cities that I developed before becoming sufficiently aware of the Eternal Commuter syndrom, exhibit it to various degree. In the oldest of my cities, the syndrom is present to a very high degree. That city had several connexions (streets, avenues, highways, railroads, even a subway line) with its neighbors. Of course it developed a very bad case of Eternal Commuters.

In order to at least contain the problem, and actually see what would happen, I severed most connexions between cities. In the city under consideration, the only links remaining are:
- highways, that can only be entered from the central area to reach neighbor cities)
- railroad lines, in which trains to neighbor cities can only be boarded at the main station in the central area.

Severing the other links caused abandonment in some residential areas, but after a while new houses were erected for Sims that are working in the city itself.

Some Sims appear however to be insisting on going to the closest neighbor city in their search for work, even if they have to endure a rather long commute, as shown in the example depicted below. The latest 'Euro-high' version of Simulator Z is used.

This picture shows the global day commute path for the Sims living in a residential building close to the right of the city tile:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg7.hostingpics.net%2Fpics%2F53148Dor_May_global.jpg&hash=f3e45e7b0be8dda3f0360c33eb95fcf05711778f) (http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=53148Dor_May_global.jpg)

This picture shows the detail of the start of the commute path, and the statistics for the building - all 128 residents travel the same path.

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg7.hostingpics.net%2Fpics%2F90134Dor_May_zoom_start.jpg&hash=894e77290f43e02b8da1e837dc9609f3bda439de) (http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=90134Dor_May_zoom_start.jpg)

The complete commute path consists of:
- walk to the closest bus stop
- short bus ride to the subway station
- subway ride to a suburban train station
- local train ride to the main station
- intercity train ride to the border of the city tile (i.e. to the neighbor city)

--> Which shows that the Sims in that particular building travel, using foot, bus, subway and train, all the way to the main train station that is located in the central downtown part of the city, there to board a train that will take them to the neighbor city (to which their building is quite close). It is possible that the Sims in that particular building used to travel directly to the neighbor city when there was, close by, an avenue with a direct connexion. When the connexion was severed, a new, much longer and complex, route was computed by the Simulator so that the Sims could continue going to work (or search for work) in the neighbor city.

It is very likely that those Sims become Eternal Commuters when reaching the border.

This shows, too, that the Simulator is quite 'inventive' in finding paths to satisfy the travel habits of some Sims, and allows for long and complex commutes. Now, if I want to suppress this type of rather circuitous travelling, what would be the best way:

- Remove, at least temporarily, the few remaining connexions with neighbor cities, making the city totally self-contained, at the risk of large-scale abandonment?

- Delete the building in which long-commuting Sims live, and any buildings where the occupants exhibit the same behavior, expecting that the replacing buildings will be inhabited by Sims that will look for, and find, work in the city itself?

- Use another version of the Z Simulator, or another Simulator that does not support lenghty commute paths?

I will be interested in the interpretation of my findings and in comments and suggestions about them.



Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on April 21, 2010, 02:17:36 AM
The good news is that your problem can be solved without switching simulators and without cutting off your city completely.  In fact, you can eliminate your problem completely and end up with more connections than you had before.

The key is in understanding how the Maxis traffic simulator engine works.  I'll explain the relevant parts here; for more details, please see A Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulator (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=10261.0).

The traffic simulator decides where the Sim is going to work before the Sim ever starts out (either from the Sim's home, or from the border).  It typically looks for a destination that is close by; this is the job of the destination finder.  The destination finder doesn't look at what routes are actually available; it simply looks at the Manhattan distance from the source to the destination.  So if a Sim enters a city where the border to another city is closer to the first border than any suitable jobs are, the destination finder will assign the second border as the destination.  It then passes the job of getting the Sim to the destination to the pathfinder.

The pathfinder then tries to find the most efficient path to the destination.  If the Sim has entered the city on a highway that goes far away from the destination, that's just too bad; the destination has already been selected.  In such a case, the pathfinder will get the Sim off the highway as soon as possible, and then route the Sim to the original destination, effectively backtracking if necessary, and taking all sorts of twists and turns to get around any obstacles you've placed in the way.  It doesn't even matter if the Sim passes appropriate available jobs; the Sim continues on to the preselected destination.

The one sure way to break an eternal commute is to sever all connections between any single pair of cities in the commute loop.  You can have as many connections between the cities and other cities as you want, as long as there is no way that the Sims can travel in a loop.

It is often not even necessary to completely sever the connections between that one pair of cities, although you have to be very vigilant to make sure that a loop doesn't form.  If you keep your connections near the center of the border, and make sure that there are plenty of open jobs on both sides of the border that are appropriate for Sims of all wealth and education levels, then you can often connect even this final set of cities without generating an eternal commuter loop.

So that should give you enough information to prevent (or destroy) these loops.  Basically, you just have to occasionally sever connections on one side of a city to avoid this whole problem.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on April 25, 2010, 01:46:03 AM
Thanks a lot for the reply, the clear explanations, and especially for pointing me to the Guide - the existence of which I was not aware of, it is an extremely valuable compendium of information about the workings of the Simulators. I have read it all and understood most of it (except the maths about the value for the pathfinding heuristic, but I trust experts like you for that).

This leads to a further question/comment, before I make modifications to the city under scrutiny, as well as to others. In the case I illustrated above, it is now clear to me why all residents of the building go looking for work in the neighbor city by train: the Manhattan distance between the building and the rail connexion to the neighbor city at the edge of the the city tile, is smaller than the distance to the most proximate (and desirable/attractive) industrial or commercial area where they could find work: The destination finder decides that the building residents will go out through the rail connexion, and then the path finder finds a way to get there, regardless of the complexity.

Should one then conclude that the respective location of residential areas and of neighbor connexions (rail, road, etc) should always be selected carefully so that the 'temptation' of residents to go out of town can be minimized? In other words, no residence too close to a connexion? If this is the case - and there seems to be evidence for it - then this sort of imposes a design pattern in cities where residential areas are 'sandwiched' between commercial and industrial ones, and cannot be placed to close to the edge of a tile, unless there is no neighbor connexion there. Needless to say, I can live with this restriction, even though it means in some cases 'sacrificing' nice terrain to industry or commerce rather than residences.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on April 25, 2010, 02:46:58 AM
Quote from: Douzerouge on April 25, 2010, 01:46:03 AM
Should one then conclude that the respective location of residential areas and of neighbor connexions (rail, road, etc) should always be selected carefully so that the 'temptation' of residents to go out of town can be minimized? In other words, no residence too close to a connexion? If this is the case - and there seems to be evidence for it - then this sort of imposes a design pattern in cities where residential areas are 'sandwiched' between commercial and industrial ones, and cannot be placed to close to the edge of a tile, unless there is no neighbor connexion there. Needless to say, I can live with this restriction, even though it means in some cases 'sacrificing' nice terrain to industry or commerce rather than residences.

This is one way to do things, and if you're careful you can make it work.  But you have to have plenty of open jobs generally of all types, since the Sims coming across the border could have originated from many different places, and may therefore be of many different kinds.  It's usually easier just to cut connections along one border, so that a loop is not geometrically possible.  Or take advantage of one border joining two cities that has only R and C buildings on both sides for a long stretch, and make your connections in the middle of that.  And cutting all connections along one border of an occasional city (which is all you need to do) is not going to create serious problems for the city's economy.  There's no need to modify your cities' geography; I've built my Chicago region faithfully to replicate the real city while using these rules, and I've managed to avoid (or destroy) all eternal commuter loops this way.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: cubby420 on April 30, 2010, 04:49:23 PM
Z, I don't want to get off-topic so apologies in advance, but in this and other threads you reference your Chicago region, which appears to double as a simulator testing ground and hobby region for you. Is there anywhere we can see your work (region stats, traffic data, and dare I say even eventful pics) on the Chicago region in this or another thread? I would love to see how simulator z has impacted your efforts to recreate a complex real-world traffic network. Plus, since I live in Chicago, your repeated tantalizing mention of this recreation has always excited me.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on April 30, 2010, 07:49:20 PM
I stopped working on my original Chicago region almost two years ago, right as I got into modding - there simply wasn't time for both.  It's a region of 7.7 million Sims; only a few cities have been developed.  It's a very ordinary-looking region; I am, as they say, artistically challenged.  But it does look vaguely like Chicago.  Traffic stats vary depending on what simulator I'm using.  You can find various pictures of various kinds scattered throughout the Traffic Simulator Z Development and Theory (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.0) thread.  If you have specific questions, I can answer them here.  But if you want more details in general, such as how to build a replica of Chicago, and more pictures, then perhaps I should start something on the MD board.  (As just one example, you need to know that the Chicago street grid is rotated 1.2° from true north and south, and you need to rotate your map accordingly.)  However, since you asked, I can at least show you the traffic map of my region here:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg52.imageshack.us%2Fimg52%2F4518%2Fchicagol.jpg&hash=e670289c476e66f9d002daf83e320757b3e26687)

As usual, the red is highways, purple is 'L' lines, and dashed purple is the old Chicago Surface Lines - trolleys, or trams.  Even in this view, you can see Humboldt Park, Graceland Cemetery, and many of the smaller parks in the city.  There's the 'L' line running next to Milwaukee Ave. through Logan Square, and there's the beginning of the Stevenson Expressway.  The city runs from just north of Lawrence Ave. in the north to about 40th Street in the south, and you can see part of Kedzie in Logan Square.  Hope that helps...
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: cubby420 on May 01, 2010, 03:35:21 PM
First off, thank you for entertaining the idea. Ordinary though it may be, that traffic map appears very true to form. I've been planning and planning on a Chicago recreation but really lack the mapping skills necessary to accomplish such a task. I for one would love to see how you approached and developed the recreation and this concept...

Quote from: z on April 30, 2010, 07:49:20 PM
But if you want more details in general, such as how to build a replica of Chicago, and more pictures, then perhaps I should start something on the MD board.

...is exactly what I had in mind when I asked. Obviously such an undertaking is wholly up to you, but I think a MD type setting might reintroduce you some back to your Chicago region and serve as an interesting and useful example for fledgling recreationists like myself. Again...totally up to you. I for one, love and totally support the idea.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 01, 2010, 07:41:03 PM
Quote from: cubby420 on May 01, 2010, 03:35:21 PM
I've been planning and planning on a Chicago recreation but really lack the mapping skills necessary to accomplish such a task. I for one would love to see how you approached and developed the recreation and this concept...

It's actually quite simple to do, once you have everything in place.  In just a little while, I'll have some time, and I'll make such an MD.  One of the hardest thing was finding a good Chicago region map (I used MallowTheCloud's) and then rotating it 1.2° - which I didn't do in this city.  I've done it for Chicago 2.0, but at this point I've forgotten how; it's nontrivial for .SC4M maps.  So when I start the MD, I'll post the rotated map and the config.bmp, along with a lot of other hints.

In the mean time, if you really want to do this, I'd strongly recommend picking up a copy of the Chicago and Cook County Street Guide (http://www.amazon.com/Mcnally-Chicago-County-Street-Guide/dp/0528874292/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272767150&sr=1-3).  I've linked to the 2009 version at Amazon, which you can get for $15.  Between that, Google Maps, and Google Earth, it's pretty straightforward.

I'd also recommend getting ardecila's downloads from the STEX - they're full of Chicago landmarks, as well as transit stations.  I'd also suggest honing your skills for building big cities in Hard mode; although I built Chicago in Easy mode, sticking to the layout of the city provides more than enough challenge.

That should do it for now - I'll make a brief post here when I start that MD.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on May 01, 2010, 10:51:20 PM
Thanks a lot, z, for sharing with us your Chicago region. If you start a MD about it I will certainly be quite interested. At this point I have a question related to the famous Eternal Commuter problem, which continues to occupy me quite a lot.

I notice that you have city squares that are offset in the north-south direction. For example, the 3 city squares at the bottom of your region: Near West Side, Downtown and Near South Side. How did you avoid triangular eternal commuting, either clockwise or counterclockwise, between those 3 city tiles? As near as I can determine, you have several connexions between each city square and the two others, both horizontally (Near West Side <--> Downtown) and vertically (Near West Side <--> Near South Side and Downtown <--> Near South Side). This should encourage triangular eternal commutes, especially since, in the north-south direction, it is not possible to locate the connexions between city squares close to their respective median border locations.

The reason of my question is that I have a similar situation of offset city squares in my current region, which has triggered heavy triangular flows of commuters.
Title: Re: NAM Traffic Simulator Z and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 02, 2010, 12:01:15 AM
Quote from: Douzerouge on May 01, 2010, 10:51:20 PM
I notice that you have city squares that are offset in the north-south direction. For example, the 3 city squares at the bottom of your region: Near West Side, Downtown and Near South Side. How did you avoid triangular eternal commuting, either clockwise or counterclockwise, between those 3 city tiles? As near as I can determine, you have several connexions between each city square and the two others, both horizontally (Near West Side <--> Downtown) and vertically (Near West Side <--> Near South Side and Downtown <--> Near South Side). This should encourage triangular eternal commutes, especially since, in the north-south direction, it is not possible to locate the connexions between city squares close to their respective median border locations.

The reason of my question is that I have a similar situation of offset city squares in my current region, which has triggered heavy triangular flows of commuters.

That's a good question, and here's where an accident of geography saves me.  The upper left quadrant of the Near South Side has a huge number of industrial jobs, plus a large number of commercial jobs.  And the lower third of the boundary between Downtown and the Near West Side is strictly industrial on both sides.  So I've never had an eternal commuter problem in this area.

I did have a nasty one elsewhere, though.  Sims would cross from Logan Square into the Near West Side, stay near the top of the Near West Side, cross into the upper left part of Downtown, and then, instead of heading into the huge downtown business area (the Loop), they would cross into Lincoln Park, and then go back to Logan Square.  I eliminated this one completely by cutting all connections between the upper third of Downtown and the Near West Side.  The parts of these cities around the middle of this border, which I left open, have huge numbers of commercial jobs on both sides, so if Sims cross there, they find jobs much quicker than traveling to another border.

Basically, it just comes down to cutting connections where eternal commuter loops are forming.  But in my case, I had to do it only along one third of one border between two cities, and no changes to city zoning were made.

Meanwhile, there are huge flows of traffic from Lakeview and Lincoln Park to Downtown in the morning, and in the reverse direction in the evening, just as in the real city.  But there are no commuter loops there.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 09, 2010, 06:57:16 PM
As of the May 2010 NAM release, Simulator Z has become the NAM Unified Traffic Simulator, or NAM Simulator for short.  The introductory post has been updated to reflect the changes that went into this upgrade.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: bob56 on May 10, 2010, 04:48:53 PM
Love the new release!!! &apls :thumbsup:

One Quick ?: When I installed NAM Medium Unified Simulator, the file name still shows up s Z_Medium. I was just wondering if it was supposed to say that, or if I did something wrong (this is with a clear NAM folder)

Thanks,

--Grif
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Andreas on May 10, 2010, 04:51:46 PM
The unified simulators are based on the Z simulator, hence the filename. It's just for reference, though, as the name hasn't any meaning for the game anyway. ;)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: bob56 on May 10, 2010, 05:01:21 PM
okay thanks :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: bunnie1978 on May 12, 2010, 10:30:08 AM
How do you actually RUN the tool?  When I dbl-click, I just get a winrar window...  Is it incompatible with XP?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 12, 2010, 12:20:34 PM
No, it should run on every type of Windows that SC4 runs on.  Please detail what you are doing, step-by-step.  Thanks!
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: bunnie1978 on May 12, 2010, 12:59:31 PM
Yeah, so I didn't have Java... Duh, right?
I'm fixed now, but I'm still trying to figure out what the pedmall tiles are useful for.  :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 12, 2010, 01:07:03 PM
Quote from: bunnie1978 on May 12, 2010, 12:59:31 PM
Yeah, so I didn't have Java... Duh, right?

Yes, that would do it.  I gather that you saw that it's listed as a dependency in the Readme file.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Moshi on May 15, 2010, 02:04:01 AM
Hello, I'm interested in translating the configuration tool. Could someone enlighten me as to what I should do? Thanks.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 15, 2010, 02:26:56 AM
Thanks for your offer!  Making a translation for the entire tool is actually quite simple.  In your installation folder, look in the subfolder resources\lang\en.  This contains all the original English language documentation.  Translate each file into the language you want, although in the properties file, the words before the equals signs should not be translated.  The GIF flag file is optional, though nice if you can provide it.  Then zip up the files and post them here.  We'll get them integrated into the program as soon as possible.

We'd be very happy to have translations into as many languages as possible.  To avoid duplication of effort, if you're going to do a translation, please post here which one you're going to do.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: erikasdaddy on May 22, 2010, 09:58:08 AM
Ok,   I have the latest Java run-time and all but when I click the icon on the desktop for this it starts the nokia ovi app...   How do I fix that?   I have looked for a way to 'open with' but can't find where java installs to or what I might open the TSCT with.   Help!    ;D
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 22, 2010, 01:30:09 PM
This problem happens because the Nokia-Ovi Suite is associated with .jar files.  These file are used as programs on Nokia or other Symbian-OS phones.

In order to fix this, in Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows, go to Control Panel -> Folder Option -> Tab "File Type".  In Windows 7, open the Start menu, click on Default Programs, then click on "Associate a file type or a protocol with a program".  In either case, scroll to the .jar extension, select it, and click on the Change or Change Program button.  In the popup window select Java(TM) Platform Binary from the programs list.  Close the windows you opened to make this change, and the TSCT should now work.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: erikasdaddy on May 22, 2010, 03:36:49 PM
That didn't work.   I have several application file options to choose from in the java folder, 
java
javacpl(control panel)
javaw
javaws
jbroker
jp2launcher
java-rmi
jqs
 



and a few others.   I went through and tried multiple ones.  I also uninstalled the Nokia OviSuite as I never use it...  and will never buy another nokia...   but that's another story! 

Also when I hover over the filename it says Java(TM) Platform SE Binary.    I wouldn't think the SE is anything super special,  but then again maybe it is. 

Thank you though for the quick reply!   You guys do amazing work! 
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 22, 2010, 04:12:28 PM
You're welcome! :)

Probably the easiest thing to do is to uninstall Java and then reinstall it.  That will establish the proper file association for you.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: rodhunt on May 30, 2010, 08:14:36 AM
Hi Z, further to the thread over on NAM video tutorials, here are a few pics.

Here are my settings for the traffic simulator, notched up to hi on j-dubs recommendation.

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1002.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Faf141%2Frodhunt%2FTSCT.jpg&hash=6522207d58be13e2c1a8388b27b18cc44aa58f4d)

Here is the city exit...  380 freight trucks, and RHW shows up as highly congested:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1002.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Faf141%2Frodhunt%2FSalida.jpg&hash=e8b140df7b107d4b5d212363309fff0b49c9df1f)

No traffic whatsoever and it shows up as congested...
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1002.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Faf141%2Frodhunt%2FJunction.jpg&hash=fce51b1e1fffab277f7b440d1d0fd7885522cd9e)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1002.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Faf141%2Frodhunt%2FJunction2.jpg&hash=2a59c0975ee49cb141e19cbfb52843bf32086201)

Here's hoping you know what's wrong!
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 30, 2010, 03:49:43 PM
Thanks for all the pictures!  They are extremely helpful in illustrating what is definitely a very unusual situation.  I can think of only two possible scenarios that would explain what you're seeing.  The first is if you have a congested subway line running directly below your RHW.  This could give the results you see, although the specific congestion patterns present make me doubt that this is your situation.

The second and most likely possibility is that this is caused by a little-known bug in the congestion display.  This display has occasional bugs; in my own cities, I've sometimes seen streets with a traffic volume of five show up as completely red; there was no subway beneath them, nor any other reason for them to be congested.  Sometimes this bug shows up in just the opposite way; networks that should show up as congested show up as completely green.

Normally, this bug is restricted to a few tiles; I've never seen it manifest to the extent shown in your pictures.  Both the cause and the cure of this bug are unknown, although it is not restricted to any particular traffic simulator; switching traffic simulators does not help in the slightest.  However, from previous experiments I have found that this bug can sometimes be affected by the Intersection and Turn Capacity Effect property.  Fortunately, this is something that is easy to test on your own using the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool.  Take the Intersection Effect Multiplier and reduce it from its current value of 1.0 to its minimum of 0.2, then run your city for two years.  If that has an effect, then please post back here.  Otherwise, I would recommend repeating your post in the RHW (RealHighway) - Development and Support (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=990.0) thread.  They may have some ideas there.  Good luck! :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Blue Lightning on May 30, 2010, 06:32:48 PM
Uh, tried evening commute? :P
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: rodhunt on May 31, 2010, 02:53:08 AM
Changing the IEM made no difference and with evening commute there is no change either. Thanks anyway guys...
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Wilfried on May 31, 2010, 07:27:11 AM
I have quiet the same problem, though on a more general scale, i.e., not bound to the RHW network alone. Here's the story:

Sometimes, after changing some capacity settings and later setting them back in the Traffic Simulator, or after installing another Congestions View plugin, I get either strongly congested networks or completely green ones which, however, are respectively reported to be uncongested or congested.

The funny thing here is that the Traffic Simulator has a capacity setting of, say, 2,400 for a Road, with 4,000 cars using it in the morning  as well as in the evening, all that being accordingly reported in the ticker, but the Congestion View for the Traffic Simulator in use displays it as green.

I've come across this bug several times now. It seems to me that the game stores some of that ill data in the City file, eventually resulting in an effect similar to the one known as Prop Pox...
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 31, 2010, 01:40:17 PM
Quote from: Wilfried on May 31, 2010, 07:27:11 AM
Sometimes, after changing some capacity settings and later setting them back in the Traffic Simulator, or after installing another Congestions View plugin, I get either strongly congested networks or completely green ones which, however, are respectively reported to be uncongested or congested.

Which Congestion View Plugin are you referring to?  Specifically, what is its file name?  There was a congestion view put out with the NAM two years ago, but it was found not to work properly, as it caused symptoms much as you're describing, and it was withdrawn as of the January 2009 NAM.  At this time, only the standard Maxis congestion view (which you get without a plugin) is recommended by the NAM Team.

As for changing the settings in the Traffic Simulator, the game takes a little while to adjust to the new settings; in your case this means that there can be unusual congestion appearing until the traffic simulator first runs with the new settings, which may be up to two years after you restart your city.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: rodhunt on May 31, 2010, 03:15:33 PM
Hi,

I have sorted out my problem with the congestion. I imagined that something was conflicting, giving me false congestion readings and meaning that my cars wouldn't use my RHW. On a hunch I removed a plugin for variable bus routes (meaning that a bus stop wasn't necessary for passengers to get off) and its sorted out both the congestion and use problem.  ;D
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on May 31, 2010, 03:21:25 PM
Quote from: rodhunt on May 31, 2010, 03:15:33 PM
Hi,

I have sorted out my problem with the congestion. I imagined that something was conflicting, giving me false congestion readings and meaning that my cars wouldn't use my RHW. On a hunch I removed a plugin for variable bus routes (meaning that a bus stop wasn't necessary for passengers to get off) and its sorted out both the congestion and use problem.  ;D

Glad to hear you managed to find the issue! :)

Is that the file that was released on the STEX not too long ago?  It basically contains a conflicting Traffic Simulator Exemplar which reverts everything except the one property that was changed to Maxis vanilla settings, meaning that there is no capacity specified for the RHW at all, which would definitely cause what you saw.

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: rodhunt on May 31, 2010, 10:59:49 PM
Yes, it was released in December - http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=23000 (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=23000)

It came in handy, but having removed it not only has my RHW problem been fixed, I now have no congestion whatsoever on medium settings... perhaps it could be the issue for other uses seeing strange congestion patterns.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 01, 2010, 12:34:57 AM
It affects congestion only on the RHW, but as you saw, it makes the RHW completely unusable.  To elaborate on what Alex said, it also silently overrides your traffic simulator with the original Maxis traffic simulator, which has many limitations.  When this plugin is installed (it's name is Variable Route Buses), your traffic simulator may be visible in your NAM folder, and you may be able to adjust its settings with the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool, but your traffic simulator and any modifications you make to it will be completely overridden by this plugin.  For all of these reasons, this plugin is incompatible with the NAM.  This is not something that would be obvious to most users, so the NAM Team will be working to get a warning attached to this plugin's description.

It is also worth noting that this plugin does not actually do what it says.  The description says that Sims "can get off anywhere along the route," but in fact, this plugin allows Sims to get off anywhere at all, even miles away from any possible bus route.  In other words, the mod makes buses functionally identical to taxis.  If you want the functionality of taxis, there are already a couple of taxi downloads on the STEX that have no negative interactions with the NAM; my favorite is Taxi Stand New Transportation (http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=1902).
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Wilfried on June 01, 2010, 08:53:40 AM
Quote from: z on May 31, 2010, 01:40:17 PMWhich Congestion View Plugin are you referring to? Specifically, what is its file name?
It's 'NetworkAddonMod_Congestion_Data_View.dat', if that helps. :D

QuoteThere was a congestion view put out with the NAM two years ago, but it was found not to work properly, as it caused symptoms much as you're describing, and it was withdrawn as of the January 2009 NAM. At this time, only the standard Maxis congestion view (which you get without a plugin) is recommended by the NAM Team.
This is really news to me since I'm using the plugin made for use with the 'Z-Low' Simulator...

QuoteAs for changing the settings in the Traffic Simulator, the game takes a little while to adjust to the new settings; in your case this means that there can be unusual congestion appearing until the traffic simulator first runs with the new settings, which may be up to two years after you restart your city.
I'll see what I can do.

Thank you.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 01, 2010, 12:57:33 PM
Quote from: Wilfried on June 01, 2010, 08:53:40 AM
It's 'NetworkAddonMod_Congestion_Data_View.dat', if that helps. :D

Yes, that's the defective file.  Remove that, and your Traffic Congestion Data View should work properly.  That file is now in the NAM's Cleanitol list.

QuoteThis is really news to me since I'm using the plugin made for use with the 'Z-Low' Simulator...

That Congestion Data View plugin wasn't connected with Simulator Z in any way; it was released about a year before Simulator Z, and was withdrawn in the same NAM in which Simulator Z first appeared.  If you're talking about the Traffic Volume Data View plugins that were matched to the various capacity levels of Simulator Z, there never was any problem with those, and you should keep using whatever one you have.  For example, the one for Simulator Z Low is named NetworkAddonMod_Volume_Data_View_Z_Low.dat.  These volume data views remain in use for the NAM Unified Traffic Simulator, which is based on Simulator Z and which released last month with the new NAM.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Wilfried on June 02, 2010, 05:48:23 AM
Okay, I re-checked it, and you've been right. So thanks a lot once again! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 17, 2010, 09:50:50 PM
This post is a response to a post in CAM 2.0 Rural - Beta Testing (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=9303.msg331354#msg331354), as the discussion there has moved off CAM and onto the traffic simulator.

Quote from: Indisguise on June 17, 2010, 06:22:22 PM
Currently using the z low simulator...

Which version are you using?  Are you using the one that came with the latest NAM last month (the NAM Unified Traffic Simulator, a.k.a the NAM Simulator), or an earlier version?

QuoteTelling you this, congestion at intersection has a major impact on comute times and lag and abandoment if you ignore it. "$Deal"$

Commute times in the NAM Simulator and Simulator Z are not terribly important, as they are not a limiting factor.  Maximum commute time is effectively infinite in these simulators.  Increased congestion at intersections will not cause increased abandonment.  It takes a very large amount of congestion citywide to cause any abandonment at all in these simulators.  This has all been verified by extensive testing.

QuoteIf too many change their routes at once you get red congestion all over the place, sims get confused and you get long travels and abandoment problems in high dence cities...

The Maxis traffic simulator engine does not work this way.  There is built-in throttling to prevent large-scale congestion when many routes are changed.  Sims do not get confused, and you do not get abandonment.  I have done countless hours of tests over the last two years with Simulator Z and its successor demonstrating this.

QuoteI acctually have to cut off avenue and rail connections to inside my cities and other cities forcing sims to take the routes I want them to take and highway routes or my city to city conection get over used, which is an odd number around 65,000.

It should not be necessary to cut any connections, unless you want to force Sims to take routes that are longer than necessary.  (BTW, the volume maximum you're talking about is 65,535, which is the highest number that can be contained in two bytes.)

QuoteA: acctually no such thing as 100% perfect pathfinding, you put the setting to 100% actually has a reverse effect, not sure orf the particulars why, but it does think pod set the perfect setting at 96-98% because of this.

To the contrary, perfect pathfinding is a central feature of the A* pathfinding algorithm used by the Maxis pathfinding engine.  I recommend that you read at least a little about A* pathfinding in the reference in the next paragraph.  The perfect pathfinding used in the current NAM Simulator has been identified by extensive experiments; you can read about them here (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.msg297913#msg297913).  Where do you get the number "96-98%"?  The number Tropod used for perfect pathfinding, which was found to be incorrect last December, is approximately 52% of the number currently used.

I strongly recommend that you read A Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulator (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=10261.0); you seem to have a number of major misconceptions about how the traffic simulator in SC4 works.  If you still have questions after that, or have problems running the latest version of the NAM Simulator, I would be happy to look into them with you in this thread.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Indisguise on June 17, 2010, 11:15:59 PM


using the last version of the Nam before the latest version release, tried the new version, didn't like it it caused a lot of enternal comuters issues for me. reverted back to the older version


I'm familiar with how the simulator works. This is how I'm able to grow most of the Cam building even the stage 15's, and have cities in million on a regular basis I have no problems with doing this in about 200yrs on a med size map.

Your saying to people asking , "how do I get higher stage buildings to grow?" or "How do I get the large buildings to grow?" or " why my city stalled at 100K or 500K or a million" that congestion isn't a factor or the route the sims take isn't a factor in growing a healthy city. Ignore it it it doesn'y matter. I say your dead wrong. Where the the sims go and how long it takes them to get there is a major factor in high dence cities hitting

Noticed time and time again the ones asking these question have  run their cities 1000 year long than I, and or are using high capasity Nam setting than I have but have many intersections in their cities have these issues.

I ran many cities with lots of intersection and all I get is comtue time issues, abandoment issues, the city stalling  with limited growth issues. I take out the unneeded intersections and the city thrives into the millions quickly.

I control the traffic and aviod congestion and I don't have the issues these people are having trying to get the higher stage buildings.

think were going to have to agree to disagree on this issue
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Mike1814 on July 12, 2010, 08:58:11 AM
Hey z, we've talked before I'm just moving the information to the right thread:

It seems like my traffic has worsened since installing NAM 2010. I'm using simulator ultra, which is acting worse than the z updated before that new NAM.

Before NAM 2010:

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg5.imageshack.us%2Fimg5%2F7198%2Fbefore1i.jpg&hash=127149eabf3046d3397c0b6126ecfe3785f264d2)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg59.imageshack.us%2Fimg59%2F2474%2Fbefore2t.jpg&hash=e15f7ffce8ae2d232cef3ee35426f7561f4602ee)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg88.imageshack.us%2Fimg88%2F8886%2Fbefore3.jpg&hash=f505f6dec8f13202254474e5d0cb9d5205c63b8e)
After NAM 2010:
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg210.imageshack.us%2Fimg210%2F8342%2Fafter1w.jpg&hash=f1c20ebedf716e799f7c5c6956485890f0b9e895)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg707.imageshack.us%2Fimg707%2F6405%2Fafter2ap.jpg&hash=2e1f165190ddf5b8f3d04d744c812bc1c78eeb2f)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg717.imageshack.us%2Fimg717%2F6234%2Fafter3h.jpg&hash=3e413de592b2492d3410c8c2f0c029bdd744629b)
Here are my files in the NAM folder:
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg651.imageshack.us%2Fimg651%2F6438%2Ffilexb.jpg&hash=2c10fa8739d1a6d687a46ed23b7ef2d17a28e7da)
(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg651.imageshack.us%2Fi%2Ffilexb.jpg%2F&hash=946dbfc6510452438a4d695d6e02ef4e753265d3)

SN: This is on imageshack right now. I apologize if the images are too big. If this doesn't work I don't know what is the problem.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 12, 2010, 03:21:28 PM
I'm happy to report that yours is a simple question to answer, and that everything is working fine.  What you're seeing is the Intersection and Turn Capacity Effect, which simulates the slowdown of traffic caused by stop signs and traffic lights by artificially increasing congestion around heavily trafficked intersections.  It does this by reducing the network capacity of the two squares on every side of all road intersections.  As some people don't like this, and don't mind that their Sims zip through all intersections without even slowing down, you can reduce or even eliminate this effect by using the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool.

Why didn't you previously see this when you were using Simulator Z?  Unless you were using a pre-release version of Simulator Z, the only explanation is that you weren't really using Simulator Z; this feature has been in the simulator, unchanged, since its first release.  You may have had another traffic simulator installed that you weren't aware of that was silently overriding Simulator Z's settings.  When you upgraded to the latest NAM, the other simulator was intentionally deleted by the NAM installer so that you could get the Ultra simulator that you selected.  The congested tiles around intersections indicate that your traffic simulator is now working properly.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Mike1814 on July 12, 2010, 07:19:20 PM
Quote from: z on July 12, 2010, 03:21:28 PM
I'm happy to report that yours is a simple question to answer, and that everything is working fine.  What you're seeing is the Intersection and Turn Capacity Effect, which simulates the slowdown of traffic caused by stop signs and traffic lights by artificially increasing congestion around heavily trafficked intersections.  It does this by reducing the network capacity of the two squares on every side of all road intersections.  As some people don't like this, and don't mind that their Sims zip through all intersections without even slowing down, you can reduce or even eliminate this effect by using the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool.

Why didn't you previously see this when you were using Simulator Z?  Unless you were using a pre-release version of Simulator Z, the only explanation is that you weren't really using Simulator Z; this feature has been in the simulator, unchanged, since its first release.  You may have had another traffic simulator installed that you weren't aware of that was silently overriding Simulator Z's settings.  When you upgraded to the latest NAM, the other simulator was intentionally deleted by the NAM installer so that you could get the Ultra simulator that you selected.  The congested tiles around intersections indicate that your traffic simulator is now working properly.

Thank u. Now I just need to have that traffic man stop bugging me about it.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 12, 2010, 10:38:47 PM
Quote from: Mike1814 on July 12, 2010, 07:19:20 PM
Thank u. Now I just need to have that traffic man stop bugging me about it.

Essentially, your traffic advisor is yelling at you because you're having your Sims stop at stop signs and traffic lights.  I'd fire that guy.  In fact, that's what I eventually did.  I went into the game options and turned off Urgent Advice Dialogs.  All the advice from the advisors still comes through the news ticker and is displayed in the news window, but they don't halt the game and shout in my face any more.

Of course, now I have to keep a closer eye on things to make sure nobody goes on strike and my nuclear power plants don't melt down.  But for me, it's worth it.

I tried to find a way to mod the advisors so that I could shut up the ones I wanted to, but I was unable to get this to work.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: HappyDays on July 22, 2010, 12:11:16 PM
Z,

Greatly off topic, but hopefully you'll find use for this.

http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=21323

This is the Stupid News Ticker Mod that does almost exactly what you want. It blocks out the majority of complaint messages in the game while attempting to keep the urgent ones you want to see. It's not a perfect implementation, however: All traffic and utility messages are blocked, regardless of severity (Power plants melting down, water cut off, airport upgrades...). The education, safety, financial, and health advisor alerts are done correctly, only showing up when strikes, fires, and other critical issues arise. The city advisor's messages are untouched, apparently due to some problems that occur with rewards otherwise.

Given the alternatives, I can live with the flaws, especially since my cities are absolutely massive (Thanks to you and CAM, of course) and otherwise I'd be drowned in hundreds of messages from the traffic advisor complaining.

(Oh, nevermind...) <_<

Edit: Having compared the original utility advisor LUA script to the one that comes with this mod, I am stunned at how completely broken it is. Most if not all messages from the utility advisor don't show up with this mod, despite only a third or so messages actually being commented out. My only thought is that perhaps there's a reference file somewhere that requires all events be there or it screws up loading them and ends up preventing all messages...?

This is worth toying with.

Edit 2: Well, I've fiddled with it and found that setting a message's trigger to "0" prevents it from popping up, and keeps the other messages intact. I guess I'll go and see if it still works if I do that with the majority of annoying messages in the script file...
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 22, 2010, 03:43:28 PM
I did come across this mod a while ago.  The only problem I saw with it is that it completely eliminates the messages - you don't even see them in the News Ticker.  But that might be appropriate for the congestion messages, certainly as an option in the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool.  Thanks for reminding me of this again!
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: HappyDays on July 22, 2010, 04:40:32 PM
I may be able to improve this mod, now that I've done some testing. For instance, the LUA script for the event when the environmentalists turn off a water pump because you've turned the water into sludge (With comments on what each function does to the best of my knowledge):

a = create_advice_utilities('ca5bdb07') - Function call?
a.trigger = "game.g_water_pollution_pump_shutdown_count > 0 and game.ga_water_pollution > 0" - Trigger
a.timeout = tuning_constants.ADVICE_TIMEOUT_MEDIUM - Time it stays in ticker?
a.frequency   = tuning_constants.ADVICE_FREQUENCY_HIGH - How often it shows up?
a.title   = [[text@4a50244a SC4_ADV_utl_Water020_Hdl Green Meddlers put the clamp on water pump]] - Title in ticker and elsewhere
a.message   = [[text@8a50245b SC4_ADV_utl_Water020_Mes Asthought the city doesn't have some real problems...]] - Ticker message
a.priority  = tuning_constants.ADVICE_PRIORITY_HIGH - Determines whether if it appears only as a ticker item or also produces a popup.
a.mood = advice_moods.BAD_JOB - Advisor mood animation?

ADVICE_PRIORITY_<Variable> is the important one, and is probably the one that should be altered. It determines whether or not those annoying popups happen when an event occurs. Ideally, one still wants the very important ones to show up (Airport upgrades, trash overwhelming city, strikes, fires, etc) while having the others just appear in the ticker. I'll have to do more testing to see what the various levels of priority do (There's low, medium, medium high, high, urgent...), but it's safe to say setting them on low keeps them from popping up.

I'll see what I can do, and if I produce something out of this I'll make a thread about it so I'm not polluting this one anymore. :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: the7train on July 26, 2010, 12:30:06 PM
Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this (if not feel free to re-direct me) but I'm having trouble with traffic traveling between cities.  This is occurring for all road networks (Roads, Avenues, RHW with the road connector method).  In my situation, I have sims traveling between city A and city B.  In city A, it shows the sims entering and exiting on all of these road networks, however, in city B, it only shows the sims exiting from city B into city A.

I've gone in between the cities and run the simulator for years, but it does not help.  The number of sims leaving city B to city A does change, however it NEVER shows any sims going into city B even though in city A it shows them leaving.  Also, in city A, the number of sims coming from city B and going into city B does change and update.

Has anyone seen anything like this before?  Any suggestions?  If you think pictures would help, I can take some screen shots, just let me know.  Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 27, 2010, 03:10:02 AM
Quote from: HappyDays on July 22, 2010, 04:40:32 PM
ADVICE_PRIORITY_<Variable> is the important one, and is probably the one that should be altered. It determines whether or not those annoying popups happen when an event occurs. Ideally, one still wants the very important ones to show up (Airport upgrades, trash overwhelming city, strikes, fires, etc) while having the others just appear in the ticker. I'll have to do more testing to see what the various levels of priority do (There's low, medium, medium high, high, urgent...), but it's safe to say setting them on low keeps them from popping up.

This is correct, and I even tried creating a revised set of these with different priorities.  Unfortunately, they had no effect.  My copies of the advice would not override the game's.  Perhaps you will have better luck...

Quote from: the7train on July 26, 2010, 12:30:06 PM
Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place for this (if not feel free to re-direct me) but I'm having trouble with traffic traveling between cities.

Yes, this is the right place.

First question:  Have you checked both commute periods?  The most logical explanation would be that the missing traffic is returning in the evening commute period.  Also note that the commute period selection for the route query tool is in a different place than the commute period selection for the traffic volume view.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: the7train on July 27, 2010, 06:16:20 AM
Quote from: z on July 27, 2010, 03:10:02 AM
Yes, this is the right place.

First question:  Have you checked both commute periods?  The most logical explanation would be that the missing traffic is returning in the evening commute period.  Also note that the commute period selection for the route query tool is in a different place than the commute period selection for the traffic volume view.

Thanks for your response z.  How do you change the commute period selection for the route query tool?  The only way I know how to look at evening commute is in the traffic volume view.  I didn't realize you can query evening traffic!  Once informed, I'll check it out tonight. 

Also, can you explain what you mean that they're returning in the evening commute?  Wouldn't they have to continue on their route into City B and turn around?  I can see for RHW they could just turn around in the connector loop, however this is happening on Maxis roads too.  Also, I would think I should be able to see them come in and turn around on the connector loop unless the game somehow doesn't show this "u-turn".

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 27, 2010, 09:52:26 AM
Quote from: the7train on July 27, 2010, 06:16:20 AM
Thanks for your response z.  How do you change the commute period selection for the route query tool?

In the Legend box in the upper right hand corner of the screen that appears whenever you use the route query tool, there are a couple of radio buttons at the bottom that select the commute period.  They're very easy to miss; I didn't know they were there the first few months I was dong modding myself.  If you don't change these, you can have the traffic volume view showing the evening commute, but the route query tool still shows figures from the morning commute.  Not a good design...

QuoteAlso, can you explain what you mean that they're returning in the evening commute?  Wouldn't they have to continue on their route into City B and turn around?  I can see for RHW they could just turn around in the connector loop, however this is happening on Maxis roads too.  Also, I would think I should be able to see them come in and turn around on the connector loop unless the game somehow doesn't show this "u-turn".

You have a good point here.  There are some peculiarities with intercity travel, to say the least.  The whole time warp thing makes this very messy, and though it usually ends up working, I have heard of a few cases such as yours.  No one has figured out what the problem is, at least to my knowledge.  I thought that the evening commute data would be useful simply in getting a more complete picture of what's going on.  But there may not be a known solution to what you're experiencing.  It may simply be another game bug.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: jondor on August 01, 2010, 04:02:43 PM
I have a question about the traffic volume data view.  I haven't managed to find an answer in my searches, so hopefully I haven't overlooked it somewhere:

I'm wondering how the Properties work which control the colors of the various volume levels.  I'm thinking it has to do with the Data View: Color Ramp and/or Data View: Legends Color, but I'm not exactly sure how they work.

Thanks in advance for the help!


Nevermind  :-[  After just a little playing around with it, I figured out enough to do what I wanted to do.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: skyscraperC3 on May 29, 2011, 02:21:39 PM
Hi I have 3 questions. I apologize if they've already been answered; please direct me to the correct location if they have. All 3 refer to the very original post. Does 'capacity by tile' mean that to get the capacity of any two-tile network, one would technically multiply by two? Why is the avenue capacity the same as the road? (I read awhile ago that it had to do with the Network Widening Mod (NWM), but I'm not sure why this would matter exactly.) And, finally, are the 'classic' capacities the exact same as the original Maxis simulator?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on May 29, 2011, 06:09:11 PM
Quote from: skyscraperC3 on May 29, 2011, 02:21:39 PM
Does 'capacity by tile' mean that to get the capacity of any two-tile network, one would technically multiply by two?

Yes.

QuoteWhy is the avenue capacity the same as the road? (I read awhile ago that it had to do with the Network Widening Mod (NWM), but I'm not sure why this would matter exactly.)

First of all, as indicated above, this is on a per-tile basis, which for Maxis road networks is the same as a per-lane basis.  In the real world, capacity is proportional to speed.  Roads and avenues have the same speed limit in the NAM traffic simulator, which means they should have the same capacity.  This is also important for NWM, because the NWM avenues are constructed out of Maxis roads.

QuoteAnd, finally, are the 'classic' capacities the exact same as the original Maxis simulator?

On average, yes, but not exactly.  The reason for this is to make the Classic simulator compatible with NWM, as described above; the Maxis simulator is not.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:30:06 PM
Hi
It's not all clear for me in capacities and congestion. Sorry, I could not quickly find the answers to these questions.

1. Does congestions devided to morning and evening ones? Say, any section of the road is very overloaded in the morning and speed on this section is low. But in the evening this section isn't overloaded. In congestion view we see this section of the road in red irrespective of time of the day. But what about speed in the evening? Whether it is low too or not?

2. As I know, capacities of the roads are per tile per day. Lets take simple road with capacity of 1200. In congestion view I want to see beginning of traffic jams, which is 100% of capacity, say, in yellow-green (I'll modify color ramp if need). So what total daily traffic in both directions I should take as beginning of traffic jams, 1200 or 2400? I don't quite understand "per tile".
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on July 22, 2011, 04:46:34 PM
Both the morning and evening commutes count toward congestion, so if you have 1200 in the morning and 1200 in the evening, the game would consider the road to have 2400 total (100% in the case of "Low") in calculating congestion.  You'd start seeing the color change from green toward yellow at that point on the Congestion DataView (if its within two tiles of an intersection, it might even be bright red because of the Intersection and Turn Capacity Effect property). 

The "per-tile" concept means that the capacity is for one tile width of a given network.  This comes into play when you start talking about 2-tile-wide networks like Avenues and Maxis Highways.  The 2400 capacity given for Avenue is for a one-tile width of Avenue.  To get the capacity for a full 2-tile span of an Avenue, multiply that "per-tile" figure by 2--this means the full width of an Avenue would have a capacity of 4800.

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:56:53 PM
Thank you, Tarkus. Now I understand how congestion view works.
But that about the real situation with speed?
If we have 2400 in the morning and 0 in the evening does this mean that we don't have congestion all the day?
And if we have 5000 in the morning and 5 in the evening does this mean that we have congestion all the day and low speed even in the evening?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 22, 2011, 06:06:56 PM
Quote from: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:30:06 PM
2. As I know, capacities of the roads are per tile per day. Lets take simple road with capacity of 1200. In congestion view I want to see beginning of traffic jams, which is 100% of capacity, say, in yellow-green (I'll modify color ramp if need). So what total daily traffic in both directions I should take as beginning of traffic jams, 1200 or 2400? I don't quite understand "per tile".
In the case you mentioned, 1200 is the total capacity in both directions.  At that volume, there is no congestion (aside from intersections), and the congestion map shows green.  As soon as you go over 1200 (100%), you get congestion, meaning that the speed of vehicles drops below the road's speed limit, and the congestion map starts showing yellow-green at that point.  So I think it already does what you want.

Quote from: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:56:53 PM
If we have 2400 in the morning and 0 in the evening does this mean that we don't have congestion all the day?
And if we have 5000 in the morning and 5 in the evening does this mean that we have congestion all the day and low speed even in the evening?

The answer to both questions is "Yes".
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: ivo_su on July 22, 2011, 07:10:21 PM
Steve can you suggest that there should  be no  traffic jams  if you  choose  option  ULTRA  installing the NAM. AFAIK, it gives the greatest capacity of types of networks, which means that there should be no  congestion  on them  correct?

Ivo
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 22, 2011, 08:16:42 PM
Quote from: ivo_su on July 22, 2011, 07:10:21 PM
AFAIK, it gives the greatest capacity of types of networks, which means that there should be no  congestion  on them  correct?

Although the first part of your statement is true, the second part doesn't follow.  The Ultra capacity was designed to provide sufficient capacity for the largest and most traffic-intensive cities that can be built in SC4.  But large cities are prone to traffic congestion, and it was not the goal of the Ultra simulator to eliminate it completely.  By providing sufficient transportation networks for your city, though, you can keep congestion to a very reasonable level with the use of the Ultra simulator.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: stmnf2 on July 24, 2011, 01:54:06 AM
Quote from: z on July 22, 2011, 06:06:56 PM
In the case you mentioned, 1200 is the total capacity in both directions.
Hmm, 1200 or 2400 yet in BOTH directions? Tarkus wrote about 2400 for road and 4800 for avenue. Or it for 'Low' version, not for 'Classic' which I meant?

QuoteThe answer to both questions is "Yes".
So the answer to the first question should be 'No' then for 'Classic' version (it will congested too)? But for 'Low' the answer is "Yes", isn't it?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 24, 2011, 01:40:25 PM
Quote from: stmnf2 on July 24, 2011, 01:54:06 AM
Quote from: z on July 22, 2011, 06:06:56 PM
In the case you mentioned, 1200 is the total capacity in both directions.
Hmm, 1200 or 2400 yet in BOTH directions? Tarkus wrote about 2400 for road and 4800 for avenue. Or it for 'Low' version, not for 'Classic' which I meant?

Yes, Tarkus must have been referring to the Low version.

Quote
QuoteThe answer to both questions is "Yes".
So the answer to the first question should be 'No' then for 'Classic' version (it will congested too)? But for 'Low' the answer is "Yes", isn't it?

I'm a little confused about which questions in which posts you're referring to.  So could you please restate your questions and then I'll be happy to answer them?  Thanks! :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: stmnf2 on July 24, 2011, 03:23:04 PM
Quote from: z on July 24, 2011, 01:40:25 PM
I'm a little confused about which questions in which posts you're referring to.  So could you please restate your questions and then I'll be happy to answer them?  Thanks! :)

:)

Quote from: z on July 22, 2011, 06:06:56 PM
Quote from: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:56:53 PM
If we have 2400 in the morning and 0 in the evening does this mean that we don't have congestion all the day?
And if we have 5000 in the morning and 5 in the evening does this mean that we have congestion all the day and low speed even in the evening?
The answer to both questions is "Yes".
In 'Classic' version I think we got congestion in first case too, but in 'Low' it will be OK, yes?
Thank you for clarification. :)
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on July 24, 2011, 04:38:57 PM
Quote from: stmnf2 on July 24, 2011, 03:23:04 PM
Quote from: z on July 22, 2011, 06:06:56 PM
Quote from: stmnf2 on July 22, 2011, 04:56:53 PM
If we have 2400 in the morning and 0 in the evening does this mean that we don't have congestion all the day?
And if we have 5000 in the morning and 5 in the evening does this mean that we have congestion all the day and low speed even in the evening?
The answer to both questions is "Yes".
In 'Classic' version I think we got congestion in first case too, but in 'Low' it will be OK, yes?

That is correct.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: 05Slowbalt on February 26, 2012, 08:38:29 PM
I have the latest version of the traffic simulator and I am having a problem. When I change anything and save it. It looks like it changes but when I close the window and reopen is it shows as nothing ever was changed. Also in the game it seems like nothing has change. A great exp. is I reduce the cost of roads, streets, ext. but on my budget it shows what the normal month cost would be. What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: anthonyca30 on February 27, 2012, 12:29:50 PM
Quote from: 05Slowbalt on February 26, 2012, 08:38:29 PM
I have the latest version of the traffic simulator and I am having a problem. When I change anything and save it. It looks like it changes but when I close the window and reopen is it shows as nothing ever was changed. Also in the game it seems like nothing has change. A great exp. is I reduce the cost of roads, streets, ext. but on my budget it shows what the normal month cost would be. What am I doing wrong?

It take a few months to a few years for the sim to kick in.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on February 27, 2012, 10:57:41 PM
Quote from: anthonyca30 on February 27, 2012, 12:29:50 PM
It take a few months to a few years for the sim to kick in.

This would not explain why when the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool is reopened, the original values are reset.

There seem to be two possibilities here:  Either the permissions of the traffic simulator are set incorrectly (unlikely), or else you have multiple copies of the traffic simulator (and possibly the NAM), and this is what is confusing the TSCT.  05Slowbalt, could you please check for multiple traffic simulator installations, and if you don't find any, could you please list the contents of your main NAM folder here?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Jack_wilds on February 28, 2012, 12:53:21 PM
also, adding another thought, if the nam is not in the default folder, it wants to find it there, that maybe part of the issue... I have to point it out to the TSCT, where I put the nam folder, every time I open it...

edit: runs on win7 pro and win7 home
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Wthrwyz on February 28, 2012, 07:36:50 PM
I had similar problems with the TSCT.  Are you on Windows Vista/7?

If the config tool is installed in your C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) folder, then you'll run into problems with the tool being able to write backups and save its own internal config (like options/where to look for the .dat file) because it tries to save these things inside the program directory.  Windows Vista and 7 actually enforce the idea that the Program Files directory is for programs, not data, and these areas are owned by the system with no user access (which is why UAC kicks in when you try to install something new - remember that on Vista/7 even if you're an administrator, you do not run with administrator privileges by default).  When you run the tool and it tries to write back to a folder under C:\Program Files to do its work, the write operation fails.  I think Java pretty much ignores the error, so it looks like the program ran properly, but of course the settings don't actually get saved and if you dig through your system logs you'll find the root cause staring right back at you with a nice, fat "access denied" error.

The simplest solution is to locate the folder where the TSCT is installed and to change its security settings (right-click the folder, select Properties, go to the Security tab) to allow the "Users" group Modify/Write access to the folder.  The other option is to remove the TSCT from the Program Files directory and install it to its own folder directly under the C: drive - you may be able to just move the entire folder, as it is a Java program and likely won't break so long as you keep it in one piece.  Just remember to modify your shortcuts to point to the new location.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: 05Slowbalt on February 28, 2012, 08:26:03 PM
Alright I was having alot of problems with everything with the game. So I just completely uninstalled and deleted everything and then restarted it all. Sometimes you gotta do what you go to do. I just reinstalled NAM Traffic Simulator and hope everything will work out.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on March 01, 2012, 11:32:31 PM
Quote from: Wthrwyz on February 28, 2012, 07:36:50 PM
If the config tool is installed in your C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) folder, then you'll run into problems with the tool being able to write backups and save its own internal config (like options/where to look for the .dat file) because it tries to save these things inside the program directory.  Windows Vista and 7 actually enforce the idea that the Program Files directory is for programs, not data, and these areas are owned by the system with no user access (which is why UAC kicks in when you try to install something new - remember that on Vista/7 even if you're an administrator, you do not run with administrator privileges by default).  When you run the tool and it tries to write back to a folder under C:\Program Files to do its work, the write operation fails.  I think Java pretty much ignores the error, so it looks like the program ran properly, but of course the settings don't actually get saved and if you dig through your system logs you'll find the root cause staring right back at you with a nice, fat "access denied" error.

The simplest solution is to locate the folder where the TSCT is installed and to change its security settings (right-click the folder, select Properties, go to the Security tab) to allow the "Users" group Modify/Write access to the folder.  The other option is to remove the TSCT from the Program Files directory and install it to its own folder directly under the C: drive - you may be able to just move the entire folder, as it is a Java program and likely won't break so long as you keep it in one piece.  Just remember to modify your shortcuts to point to the new location.

I hadn't heard of this happening before, but your explanation makes perfect sense.  (Similar problems have been encountered with the DAMN menus.)  Your two alternate solutions should also work equally well.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Asgurd on August 15, 2012, 07:14:35 AM
Hello everyone,

I enjoy very much that pack of awesomeness that is the Z simulator but I'm eager for more.
I would like to know if there was a way to further customize the Z-simulator than with the TSCS.

For instance I wish to be able to edit my network capacity to have street with a 1000 capacity while having highway with 60000 capacity (just an example), or I wish to set the speed of the various networks, just to experiment a bit.

Also about buses did I understand correctly the readme when it said that basically, when you check on "buses contributes to traffic", each bus passenger count as a car ?
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 15, 2012, 06:27:02 PM
Quote from: Asgurd on August 15, 2012, 07:14:35 AM
I enjoy very much that pack of awesomeness that is the Z simulator but I'm eager for more.
I would like to know if there was a way to further customize the Z-simulator than with the TSCS.

Well, anyone can modify the traffic simulator with Ilive's Reader, but this is not recommended, nor is such a modified traffic simulator supported by the NAM Team.  The Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool was constructed specifically to allow players to change those properties in the traffic simulator which were either completely safe to modify, and really reflected the player's preference, or which might have a slight negative effect, but one which was well-known, limited, and documented in the TSCT.

QuoteFor instance I wish to be able to edit my network capacity to have street with a 1000 capacity while having highway with 60000 capacity (just an example), or I wish to set the speed of the various networks, just to experiment a bit.

The speeds of the networks need to be pretty much what they are; otherwise, things tend to break, often in unpredictable or unexpected ways.  Most commonly, adjusting the speeds to something different from what they currently are will tend to result in increased dilapidation and abandonment due to commute time.

As for the network capacities, these generally have a lot less of an effect on the game than most people think.  But to avoid problems, it is important to keep the ratios of the various network capacities approximately the same.  This is why you can adjust the overall capacity level, but not individual network capacities.  The Network Capacity Multiplier in the TSCT gives you additional flexibility in this area.

QuoteAlso about buses did I understand correctly the readme when it said that basically, when you check on "buses contributes to traffic", each bus passenger count as a car ?

Yes, that is correct.  In that sense, it merely makes buses act the same as other travel types, such as trains and subways.  All vehicles in SC4 are single-passenger; this is true because in reality, vehicles are just an abstraction in SC4.  There are actually only Sims acting like vehicles.  For this reason, no mass transit vehicle will ever stop at intermediate stops, since it consists of just a single Sim.

For buses, the only alternative to having them count as traffic, the same as cars, is having them not count at all (which is what the original game does).  This turns out to be even more unrealistic, and reduces the accuracy of the traffic simulation (sometimes significantly).
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Asgurd on August 17, 2012, 06:45:11 AM
Thanks, I guess I'll experiment with it later when I'm more comfortable with the transit system.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on August 18, 2012, 01:31:16 AM
Quote from: Asgurd on August 17, 2012, 06:45:11 AM
Thanks, I guess I'll experiment with it later when I'm more comfortable with the transit system.

If you really want to learn more about the workings of the traffic simulator, I'd recommend A Guide to the Operation of the Traffic Simulator (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=10261.0).
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on June 25, 2014, 03:49:02 AM
Steve, this kinda thing still fascinates me about the Z / NAM traffic Sim. ;D

I had just started a new city.
One which has the most simplest of transit set ups and routing.
We have exactly one work place developed- a large coal power plant.
We have just a handful of single tile house
We have just one network route  which is a street
We have just 2 possibilities for any of these Sims to commute to this power plant to work-
1) drive
2) walk

Of these 2, driving is clearly the quicker commute.
Than why do we get -

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg850%2F5711%2F0jdl.jpg&hash=075907ec0d92d13c0bbab8debaa39614a26623b0)

In addition , it is a total mix of driving and walking transit modes when the composite transit commutes are considered for all 9 houses-

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg823%2F8830%2Fx5tv.jpg&hash=be0fdc39027a0f1246bb43738588dadd1c160718)

Here we see even distance does not seem to play a logical role in the choice of transit.
The 2 nearest houses walk to and from work.
The next furthest 3 houses away from the power plant all drive.
But than the next 3 furthest houses all prefer to take the slower walking commute !!

**Note Traffic Sim was run for 5 years ( included several updates)...

Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on June 25, 2014, 10:39:13 PM
Quote from: b22rian on June 25, 2014, 03:49:02 AM
We have just 2 possibilities for any of these Sims to commute to this power plant to work-
1) drive
2) walk

Of these 2, driving is clearly the quicker commute.

Ah, but is it? $%Grinno$%  The traffic simulator is obviously disagreeing with you, and as you know, the traffic simulator is always right. ;D  (Well, almost always. ::))

Some of the Sims are saying to themselves, "Do I really want to go into the garage, get the car started up, back out into the street, all just to drive just a short distance?  I don't think so; I think it's faster to walk."

And they're right.

Other Sims think that driving is faster.  They're right, too.

How can this be?  Most people forget that there's a 24-second startup penalty for all driving trips.  There are also small penalties if Sims end up walking when they prefer to drive, or vice versa.  (Walking is considered to be mass transit.)

When you do the math here (which I did), you'll find that the drive vs. walking times are almost identical.  The walking times are always the same, whereas the driving times vary slightly depending on how many Sims drove the last time the traffic simulator was run.  If a lot of Sims drove last time, fewer will this time, due to the way the Congestion vs. Speed curve works.

Due to the way mass transit preferences work, there's a slight random factor in here, which explains why the transportation mode is not related to distance.  But if you keep building houses farther and farther away from the plant, all the Sims will eventually drive.  Also, if you take your current setup and simply change the street into a road, all the Sims will drive.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on June 26, 2014, 01:58:00 AM
Thanks much for this Steve !

You brought up a lot of interesting points and factors about how the Traffic Sim operates  :thumbsup:

All just personal preferences mind you on my part, but I really like how the transit is varied due to the factors you explained about how the traffic Sim works. To me its more interesting to have more varied forms of commute type rather than just a "buttoned - down", 100 % efficient and , always the quickest routes. It is really a marvelous invention for the game, this Traffic Sim , and of course you played the biggest role in its current state of development. I really like the concept of these "random factors", you mentioned also.
None of us could thank you enough for the time and work you put into making it preform the great way it does  &apls

Brian
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: vortext on June 26, 2014, 03:30:42 AM
Interesting stuff!  :thumbsup:

I've always suspected some random element at play when it comes to car vs. pedestrian traffic.

Quote from: z on June 25, 2014, 10:39:13 PM
Also, if you take your current setup and simply change the street into a road, all the Sims will drive.

Could you please explain more how & why that is? And maybe also elaborate on the 24-second startup penalty and pedestrians being considered mass transit!? I have never heard of both before.  ???
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on June 26, 2014, 09:23:11 AM
Even with the road instead of the street , its a similar commute set up.
At least in terms of looking at transit type from individual dwellings.
The main change is population and occupancy is a bit higher now.
The % of car transit is now higher than before, if that matters ?

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg849%2F9366%2Fnjjc.jpg&hash=1120925ed5dc077188eecdeeec1bcc6afd9ebd69)

Do you think an interesting test might be to keep this set up but try rezoning and rebuilding the individual houses, but starting off with the road in place , to see if that is any factor in all of this ?

I wasn't sure if the destination finder also includes some sorta reluctance to change transit type once its been established ?

thanks, Brian
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Korot on June 26, 2014, 02:03:33 PM
I personally would find that an interesting test, especially since none of the houses have switched commute type. There are just more commuters.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on June 27, 2014, 04:31:23 AM
Quote from: Korot on June 26, 2014, 02:03:33 PM
I personally would find that an interesting test, especially since none of the houses have switched commute type. There are just more commuters.

First, thanks for your interest in this , both Korot and Vortext

I ran 3 additional tests and I think you guys are going to find this interesting  :-\

Test 1-

Before demolishing the first row of houses , i wanted to make doubly sure we were giving the Traffic Sim able time to run a great deal of updates to establish this was the routing for these 9 houses it had settled on. So I increased testing time from 5- 10 years -
Results= the same, no changes

Test- 2

In this test is where I tried to establish the road network in place first.
All 9 houses were demolished and than Re - zoned with 9 identical 1 X 2 zone dimensions.
Once the 9 houses quickly grew back i than ran another test for = 7 years..
Here than are the results of that test -

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg853%2F3552%2Fct80.jpg&hash=5682ae2fcce1b459339a65ce4a7232112cdbe1a7)

Fairly similar to the first tests I ran. But perhaps the results even more puzzling, with both the closest 3 houses + the furthest 2 houses choosing to walk. But the middle 3 houses prefer driving.

However, my final test i think sheds some light on these testing experiments and confirms what Z has told us in his last post-

For this test I decided to replace 10 of the road tiles that route the sims to there work place at the coal power plant with 10 RHW-2 tiles which will speed up the driving commute even more-
These results are more what we now expect  ;D -

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg819%2F6863%2Fo7ks.jpg&hash=0cfd40088bef86306d7df989468fb1a50d237890)

With only the 3 closest houses walking to work and the rest of the houses which are further away now drive to and from work ( I checked the evening commute just for fun and it was the identical routing and transit preferences).

So no, it does not match Z's prediction exactly..where he is suggesting build a road and than see if they all drive. But lets not nit pick the poor man as the gist of what he has told us in his post-

Direct quote from Z ( Steve) -


How can this be?  Most people forget that there's a 24-second startup penalty for all driving trips.  There are also small penalties if Sims end up walking when they prefer to drive, or vice versa.  (Walking is considered to be mass transit.)

When you do the math here (which I did), you'll find that the drive vs. walking times are almost identical.  The walking times are always the same, whereas the driving times vary slightly depending on how many Sims drove the last time the traffic simulator was run.  If a lot of Sims drove last time, fewer will this time, due to the way the Congestion vs. Speed curve works.

Due to the way mass transit preferences work, there's a slight random factor in here, which explains why the transportation mode is not related to distance.




is in fact correct.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 19, 2015, 03:45:36 AM
Steve or Alex

During my Beta testing of the RTMT flup stations , i was reminded of something I always wanted to ask you guys about  :thumbsup:

I was curious why the traffic reporting for these underground rail pieces never show the amount of rail traffic when you do either a (click or hover) route query on them ?
They do show the above ground traffic numbers however-

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg540%2F69%2FxZ7mlJ.jpg&hash=b54cf116b99c5e47d5f6767499e40e5aa447a84e)

On the other hand i notice the rest of the underground flup pieces do show both the above + underground traffic figures when you route query them -

(https://www.sc4devotion.com/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimageshack.com%2Fa%2Fimg537%2F4350%2FDPAb21.jpg&hash=4b3ea576f11382ed3836f7a7481adcc9c392babc)

Any idea what might be going on here ?

brian

Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 23, 2015, 10:23:12 PM
Quote from: b22rian on September 19, 2015, 03:45:36 AM
Any idea what might be going on here ?

Yes, it's due to the fact that the Underground Rail is, well, underground.  You can get the traffic volume numbers only for ground level or higher networks.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 24, 2015, 03:44:13 AM
Quote from: z on September 23, 2015, 10:23:12 PM


Yes, it's due to the fact that the Underground Rail is, well, underground.  You can get the traffic volume numbers only for ground level or higher networks.

But than why in my second pic, is it reporting traffic of 2609 for the underground GLR Flup ?
A similar pedmall/ rail piece you get nothing for rail ?
The only difference I can see between the 2 pieces is one if rail under the ground the other is considered by the game elevated rail but still underground ..
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 24, 2015, 11:38:15 AM
Well. that is definitely strange.  It seems to me that underground rail and FLUP must have some difference in implementation, though I don't know what that would be.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 24, 2015, 12:17:56 PM
Quote from: z on September 24, 2015, 11:38:15 AM
Well. that is definitely strange.  It seems to me that underground rail and FLUP must have some difference in implementation, though I don't know what that would be.

thanks much for your reply Steve,,
I know I can speak for all of us here with the NAM team it is great to see you feeling a bit better and back posting some..  :thumbsup:

I think I am going to ask Pierre to create an underground rail network just to see if he reports any traffic with a query, so we can rule out some issue with my plugins set up .
Unless Alex may have an idea on this...

brian
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on September 24, 2015, 11:33:09 PM
I won't create an entire underground rail network, but I can turn a section or two of existing surface rail into underground sections and see what happens. I am not too good with underground rail, my rare attempts sofar were not very successful, possibly because I didn't really 'buy' into the concept, but I'll see what I can come up with.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: z on September 25, 2015, 01:12:24 AM
I'll save you the trouble, Pierre.  I just fired up my old Queens city of Jamaica (pop. 3.5 million) from 2007, which made extensive use of underground rail.  You can see this in the traffic volume view, but no actual volume figures are available.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 25, 2015, 02:47:26 AM
Thanks, for both your help guys  :thumbsup:

I recall this issue came up actually many years ago.
Back in those days I think I just assumed there was some type of issue with my plugins or nam install. i did not think that this was a global issue.
I would still be curious if Alex had any thoughts about what is going on here with rail..

Although because it still does show up on the volume/ congestion views, you can get a general feel for traffic amounts using those tools still..
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: pierreh on September 26, 2015, 12:50:50 AM
Quote from: z on September 25, 2015, 01:12:24 AM
I'll save you the trouble, Pierre.  I just fired up my old Queens city of Jamaica (pop. 3.5 million) from 2007, which made extensive use of underground rail.  You can see this in the traffic volume view, but no actual volume figures are available.

Thanks a lot, Steve! I'll probably still implement a section or two of undergound rail, in part to see whether it can be more convincing than my earlier attempts, but this removes the urgency of it. I also want to understand better how underground rail is implemented.
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: Tarkus on September 26, 2015, 01:18:40 AM
It's been a long time since I've done anything with URail.  Its implementation actually pre-dates FLUPs--URail came in NAM 20, while FLUPs didn't arrive until NAM 24. 

The original URail setups done by GoaSkin were all Dual-Networking, with only URail-under-Road and the transition portal being available.  The RUL0 entries for the FLUPs crossings, oddly enough, involve CheckTypes for LightRail plus another network (even if there is no LightRail-based crossing involved), whereas the URail ones are Rail plus another network.  It may come down to a quirk with how the query tools resolve the particular transit types involved.  If Chrisim were still around, he would be the guy to ask, was the main guy for both FLUPs and URail, and probably did the most experimentation (at least since the early days) with CheckTypes.

-Alex
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 26, 2015, 03:07:52 AM
Alex,

thanks much for your explanations as always , especially given your RL time constraints + the Nam 33 release being soon.  :thumbsup:

This was the first time I had ever heard the term "Check Types", and it was quite an interesting learning experience for me to hear how you explained all this with the traffic reporting of our underground networks.

And although this certainly should not be considered anything of a "high priority". I was thinking after we get RTMT version 4 out the door , I may try to look into this at a deeper level. If I follow through with my desire to learn more about Ruls code, I do understand Rul 0 is the logical place to start. And if you think an understanding of these concepts involve Rul 0, than this sounds like it may be fun for me to look into this issue later on..

brian
Title: Re: NAM Unified Traffic Simulator and Data View Help
Post by: b22rian on September 26, 2015, 04:11:21 AM
Alex + Steve,

one interesting test experiment i thought i would try but turned out to be a "fail", unless i made some sort of error with my set up here...

I was curious on this rail flup, if i tried substituting the usual U- rail pieces, for  the pedmall/ straight route flup pieces, if than the U rail portion would start reporting its "traffic figures"..

However , attempting to use these flup pieces renders the U-  rail route as non-functional.

So Alex,

is this part of the reason why we have all these U- rail pieces to use, because you cannot use these  straight underground routing flup pieces with the maxis rail network ?
I thought those were pathed in such a way that they make available all traffic types to the traffic sim ?