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Cogeo's Transportation Lots

Started by cogeo, June 01, 2008, 08:24:47 AM

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cogeo

Thanks for the offer Warrior!
A DAMN file would be nice, but the DAMN plugin is not yet released "officially". Not only it must be released as a dependency (with an installer and a detailed readme), there should also be a new thread (stickied) "advertising" and explaining how it is used (for players, not developers), so that they become familiar and don't post silly comments like "I can't find the buttons, where are they".

This is not ready yet, so I opted for an MML. This is a completely optional plugin and can be installed/uninstalled at will at any time.

I haven't really experimented with DAMN files, but here's a tip that can help:
  All building exemplars in this pack are referencing the same common cohort, so it is possible to override only the cohort, instead of every building exemplar, to set the Conditional Building = True property. This is what I have done with the MML. This makes it possible to release an update for the pack (if you need to fix something) without having to update the MML (or DAMN), as they don't contain copies of the (overridden) building exemplars.

z

#21
I've been using your RTMT stations since last fall, and I think they're fantastic.  I do have a question about station capacities, though.  I came across the following quote by you from last September:
QuoteThe capacities of all RTMT stations are set as the net capacity plus ¾ the capacity of the fully used network (both directions, morning and evening commute). This has work quite well so far, but I would like to know if I should provide some improvements. The goal is to not allow the stations be congested (due to the through traffic) before the road network is.
Maybe it's just me, but I found the wording here a little confusing.  Could you explain in a little more detail?

One reason I'm asking is that I have found that, at least in my experience, the station capacities do need revising, specifically the CAM ones.  When using GLR-in-avenue, the stations never get overcrowded unless (as rarely happens) one of the associated networks does.  However, the plain avenue stations occasionally get overcrowded while the associated networks are still well within capacity.  Even more frequently (though still only on the most heavily traveled routes), the road and street stations get overcrowded long before their networks do.  On the other hand, whenever a network associated with a station gets overcrowded, the station associated with it does too, usually worse than the network.

I almost always use the combination bus and subway stations (and trolley for the GLR); I also typically have subways running under every road.

So it seems to me that the GLR RTMT stations have the proper capacity, while the non-GLR stations are set too low for CAM.  Basically, I think you need a different algorithm for capacity.  For now, I think I'm simply going to try doubling the capacity of the non-GLR stations.  So, for example, a road with bus and subway stops will have a little over a third the capacity of and avenue with bus, subway, and tram stops, instead of a little over a sixth of that capacity.  This intuitively seems to make sense to me.

Finally, are there any further plans for RTMT?  I saw a while ago that ebina was working on something for underground rail; do you know if anything is happening there?

Thanks for all your great work; it's really added a lot to the game for me.

z

Well, I have some interesting results from my experiment.  I tried it in my downtown Chicago city, which at 453 years is the oldest city in my Chicago region.  Being downtown, it's mostly commercial; about 1.4M commercial population, 660K residential, and somewhere around 200K (I think) industrial.  It's an old enough city that growth plateaued a while ago, and while some population figures may move a tenth of a percent one way or another, over time populations are unchanged.  Traffic flow is excellent, with only a few areas of congestion.  I would estimate that I have several hundred RTMT stations in the city; of these, about a dozen were congested.

I replaced all the congested stations with my double capacity stations.  This brought all the congested stations under capacity, although just barely for a few.  It also had some interesting side effects.

I mentioned that there were a number of congested stations where none of the associated networks were congested.  In these cases, new buildings started growing almost immediately in the general vicinity of these stations, and population figures started to rise above their previous maximum.  Even more interesting were the congested stations sitting on congested networks.  In most cases, removing the congestion from the station by doubling its capacity completely eliminated the nearby network congestion as well, which was unexpected.  Even in the few cases where it wasn't completely eliminated, it was largely reduced.  I think what was happening here is that the station congestion was causing most or all of the network congestion; traffic on one network was backing up at the stations while the Sims waited to switch networks.  Once again, new buildings began growing around the new stations almost immediately.  Within a few years, I had 5% growth across the board - more than I'd had in the previous century.

So it seems clear that at least in this case, the RTMT stations' capacity was a major bottleneck not only to traffic flow, but to city growth in general.  I also found it interesting that I got such clear results by replacing only about a dozen stations.

On a related note, I notice that in the "NAM + CAM" thread, you talk about updating RTMT for the new traffic simulators.  I hope that you will take these results into account when you do.  Also, I think you may have to set the station capacities based on the "Easy" version of each simulator, since the version of the simulator may be changed during city growth, and I don't think there's any way to adjust station capacities dynamically.  But I don't know much about these things, so I'll let you figure it out.

Finally, I would urge you not to jettison the CAM settings, even after CAM 1.1 comes out.  For one thing, not everyone is going to upgrade immediately.  Also, some people may choose to keep the CAM simulator.  The new NAM traffic simulators approach traffic management in a very different way from the old ones, and after trying them, I find that the CAM simulator works much better for my cities.  I think there will be at least some others out there who feel the same.  Someday I may get around to posting my experiences in the appropriate NAM thread...

z

Thinking about the results of my experiment, I think it raises some fundamental questions about MT station congestion in general.  To start with, there are three types of traffic congestion that occur in RL:

1. The network is congested but the station isn't.  This happens relatively frequently, especially in big cities, where it tends to happen every rush hour.  Some networks, such as roads, don't really have stations, so they automatically fall into this category.  Another example would be a subway line, where trains coming by are completely full, but the station is still able to handle all the people coming and going.  Of course, the question arises, if there's congestion and slowdown from people getting on and off crowded trains, is that network congestion or station congestion?  I think the answer here is quite clear - it's network congestion.  Increasing the number of trains would eliminate this problem, while increasing the size or capacity of the station would not affect it at all.

2. Both the network and the station are congested.  This is sometimes seen, but it's pretty rare.  How many times do you see congestion that would be relieved by bigger stations?  Instead, when this happens, it's almost always network congestion overflowing into the stations.  For example, after a big sports event, there may not be enough trains to take people away quickly, and as a result, the station fills up and it's hard to get into it.  But is this really station congestion?  Would having a bigger station with more staff speed up people's trips at all?  Not really, because the bottleneck is the lack of trains.  Then there's the question of people lining up at the fare turnstiles when things are crowded.  Under normal circumstances, there should only be a slight delay here, which should probably be reflected in the Transit Entry cost for the station.  If delays at this point are long and frequent, it means in effect that the station is underfunded, either by not having enough turnstiles, or enough working ones, or manned ones, etc.  The reason it's not a capacity problem is that once people get through the turnstiles, there's typically plenty of room for them to wait for trains.  Since stations are expensive to build, typically they're built with much more capacity than necessary.  When they do jam up, typically it's well after the network has become congested, and is a direct result of that congestion.

3. The network is not congested, but the station is.  Typically, you never see this in RL.  For example, in subway stations, this would mean trains would be coming and going without being filled to capacity, yet the station would be so jammed that it would slow down people's travel.  Since stations are built with a lot of excess capacity, this would mean that the station was built way too small, which would in effect mean that the builder was incompetent.  But again, this is largely hypothetical; you basically just don't see this situation.

The conclusions I draw from this are that the only times stations get congested are as a direct result of when their associated networks get severely congested, and even then, the station congestion tends to be much less than the network congestion, in that the network congestion will have far more of an impact on the duration of a traveler's trip.  So in practical terms, this means that in SimCity it is quite reasonable for networks to turn yellow or orange from congestion, while their stations still remain green.  And if the stations do get congested, their color should never be as red as their network's.  This is not so much a fundamental principle of transportation as simply reflecting what happens in RL.

SimFox

Actually the situation where it is a station's capacity to handle throughout human traffic that affects leng of the journey is not so uncommon. Of course I don't mean the standing space on the platform itself, but rather inter connecting passages and exits/entrances . This is a particularly weak spots in the underground stations. Moscow Metro is good example of such station congestion. number of escalators built 60 years ago is simply not enough to handle volumes of people moving in the system in rush hour when intervals between trains are as short as 30 seconds or less. Trains are full as well, but entrances and exits and transitions are absolutely jam packed. Often crowd is so dense that you can raise you feet and would fall down. And it is not uncommon when you'll spend biggest part of total jorney time trying to get in or out of the station.

z

You're right - I can certainly see this happening.  This is a case where the network capacity has been upgraded (in this case, by adding more trains), but the station capacity has not.  You could certainly expect to see station congestion in such a situation.  It's very similar to the case where an SC4 player upgrades to the NAM, but doesn't upgrade his or her original Maxis transit stations.  The old stations will often get overcongested in places for reasons that have nothing to do with network congestion.  So this simply means that station capacity must keep up with network capacity, and if you increase your network capacity, you need to add stations that can handle that capacity.  For example, on newer subway lines, built with sufficient financial resources, you don't see the problem you mentioned.  The point of my previous post was simply that for people building new network lines with new stations, stations with sufficient capacity for the network should be available.  Otherwise, the situation you described will definitely occur.

badstrawberry

I have been experiencing problems with the GLR <-> RAIL hub stations. 

Apologies for the length of this post, I am not entirely sure how it works or what could have happened and so I have simply tried to record here as much of my observations a possible, and hopefully it will make sense to one of you more experienced folks.

OK, I had created a couple of small estates which had no road links to the rest of the city apart from (at most) two links to the city's highway network.  Each estate had a GLR track running round it in a ring with either 4 or 6 stations spread around it.  Each estate had a rail line running alongside and one GLR station would be built next to a rail station so that passengers could interchange between rail and GLR.  Something like this:


As you can see, the traffic flows from the rail network onto the GLR ring and around the estate:


The problem was that there would be more passengers than the rail station could handle, at least 6000 (well above the 2000 capacity of a rail station).  When I found that there was a RAIL <-> GLR hub station I could use with a capacity much higher than I needed I jumped at the chance.

BUT it didn't work out quite how I intended.  When i first built the hub station, the passengers dropped right off but then returned at a lower level, to about 2500 passengers.  I noticed that they seem to be entering the station at a weird point and I also noticed that the GLR traffic seems to try and jump to another point on the track, missing out the station completely:



After it settled in for a minute, the passenger numbers dropped down to 400 and were limited to those passengers that would walk from the station, there was no transferring onto the GLR track.  When I looked further at the GLR track, it was as though there was a break in the track but I could find no visual signs of a break.  I thought there was a break because when I looked at the whole GLR look, I saw that passengers would take a much longer route, bypassing the new hub station (despite it being closest), travelling on to the next station, transferring onto the GLR and then taking the longest route to their destination, again avoiding the new hub station:



Does anyone have any thoughts about what could be going wrong for me?

cheers
Craig

cogeo

#27
Wow, this is really weird!

First of all in the third pic rail passengers are converted to pedestrians (disembarking) at a point where there is no station touching the track. Second, GLR Traffic is... teleported far away!

This shouldn't happen. My stations are configured so that Rail<->Pedestrian and GLR<->Pedestrian switchings occur only at the east and west side of the station (where track connects to). That is track touching the station at the front or back side should not be serviced (no switchings should take place). In this case track doesn't even touch the station at the front or back sides, you have roads there.

So it looks like the game is confused, regarding the numerous intersections and the few network tiles around the station as a giant intersection (also involving GLR)! This may sound like fiction, but the traffic paths you have posted rather indicate this! I don't know what may be wrong, may some more experienced NAM members can give a better explanation.

This can't be fixed by fixing the stations. The GLR Stations and Hub plugin was updated recently, but the station you are using didn't appear to have problems.

Maybe a way to fix this would be to simplify the connections if possible, try roads instead of one-way roads, or simply bulldoze the whole thing (incl the intersections) and plop them anew. But before doing so please backup your city (or region) I'm gonna send you a modified version of the station (with the GLR switchings reversed), to see if it makes any difference, ie keep your city "as is" to be used as testbed.

BTW which NAM Traffic Plugin are you using?

===========================================================================
===========================================================================

As for RTMT, unfortunately I don't have the time to improve it now or in the near future. Even making a "simple" update, like adding the Transit Switch Capacity Effect property requires editing 23 exemplars and do this 5 times (for the current capacity sets). In addition, a lot of "peripheral" work needs to be done, eg testing, update documentation, rebuild the installer, re-package, re-upload etc. I can't even consider making a major update, like review capacities (requires also updating maintenance costs, for consistency), make new sets (for all Traffic_Plugins/Simulators), or even more make diagonal versions. I was planning to make a new installer for the props, I mean a real one, allowing the player to select the props from a list, not the presets currently released. As far as I can see, few people install the props correctly; wrote an installation examles document, but few people bother to read the readmes, actually they find it easier to complain, so I'm a little p*ssed! Anyways, ss this is not really too much work, I may do it some day.

About the rest, as said above I don't really have the time for new updates, but if someone wishes to continue work on these, I would be happy to hand over my work till now. Skills required are basically modding, but some "artistic" work might be needed too (textures, buttons, props etc), however this is minimal. I was not BATting when I started making the RTMT pack, and as you can see almost all prop models are from other BATs or packages. Mcdrye's subway (LU originally, and the black, dk green, blue and metallic derivatives) is the only purpose-made RTMT model. With so many people BATting now it will be easy to find people who would be willing to contribute, making new models, or even sets/themes. This doesn't even require additional modding, as props in RTMT V3 are included in separate datfiles, so they can just be added to the package (or released as separate packs) without requiring changing the lots (the Berlin set is an example). Another skill that may be required is making an installer, and I mean a scripted one (like the main RTMTV3 installer) not a simple one that just installes a fixed set of files under the plugins folder. Certainly there are members that can help, but it's annoying asking to rebuild an installer every now and then, plus they have their own schedule and RL issues.

b22rian

there is one other possibility...

How long did you wait after you made the changes before you tested the new stations set up ?

Sometimes it takes longer for all the changes to take effect than a lot of people think it does..

Sometimes as much as 18 months of game playing time or even longer before you see the new stations

reach their potential capacities... (it may even take longer than this for all changes to take effect)..

Also Ive noticed with the pathing arrows, the same sort of problem with the time element...

So for example if you had made changes to a previous set up. many times you will see parts of the old pathing

arrows combined with parts of the new pathing arrows..if things were tested less than say a 18 month time frame

It can be very confusing because the traffic simulator is still in transition adjusting from the old to the new set up.

If after you changed the stations set up you waited quite a long time before testing everything than there are

other issues that need to be considered.... Just a suggestion...

Thanks, Brian

badstrawberry

Wow, thanks for the responses so quickly.

Firstly, to b22rian - I have tried leaving it for up to 10 years in the city's time but the problem persists.  I have also tried deleting the station and surrounding roads, etc and trying again - but with the same results.  Granted, the people don't seem to be "teleporting"anywhere and are entering and leaving the station at set points, but there remains no GLR traffic, and traffic still goes the long way around the GLR loop to avoid the hub station.

Secondly, to cogeo - I am using the April 2008 NAM add-on and have tried simplifying the roads around the hub, if fact I removed most of them just leaving the important one at the front of the station.

The problem seems more related to the NAM add-on than anything else because I have experienced something similarly weird.  I find that the same thing happens in other traffic if changes have been made to the local area.  Here is my example:

I started with the setup in the pic below, a fairly busy locale:


Then I removed a patch of zones:


Then when I check the traffic flow you can see that some of the road traffic appears to be "teleporting" over open land:


It stays like that indefinitely and no matter how long I leave it, it doesn't seem to correct itself until I re-lay the roads that are affected:




b22rian

Hello badstrawberry..

yes , I agree its all a strange problem..

I was just curious if you were using the new nam traffic plug ins..

these ?

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=3693.0

If you are not.. i would encourage you to give one of those a try..

Most of us, have now switched over to using one of those..

If you are using one already.. I'm curious which one you are using ?

Obviously, I'm also curious if you were to install one of those..would you still have this same strange

problem you are having now..


Rayden

Quote from: b22rian on July 27, 2008, 02:26:10 PM
Hello badstrawberry..

yes , I agree its all a strange problem..

I was just curious if you were using the new nam traffic plug ins..

these ?

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=3693.0

If you are not.. i would encourage you to give one of those a try..

Most of us, have now switched over to using one of those..

If you are using one already.. I'm curious which one you are using ?

Obviously, I'm also curious if you were to install one of those..would you still have this same strange

problem you are having now..


I believe that April's NAM has those plugins included, if I'm not mistaken. &Thk/(

badstrawberry

Quote from: Rayden on July 27, 2008, 05:00:10 PM
I believe that April's NAM has those plugins included, if I'm not mistaken. &Thk/(

yes, I wasn't sure whether or not that was the case - but when I tried to download the traffic plugins it stated that the download was locked by the author, so maybe they have already been included in the April NAM.

However, there is a new twist on things.... In my first post I mentioned about there being no GLR traffic from the RAIL <-> GLR hub I used:



To the left of the pic above, you can see that i am using the Cogeo hub staion, but al the other GLR stations on that loop were Tonkso GLR stations.

When I tried replacing the Tonkso GLR station towards the bottom of the pic with Cogeo's small GLR station, GLR traffic started to run again from the hub station.  So I don't know whether or not that is an important fact or just coincidence.



b22rian

Yes, I think the new traffiic sims were included in the april nam update..

But you would have still had to have made some choices as to which one you wanted to use..than..

First whether you wanted to use type A or type B...

And than in addition whether you wanted to go with easy, medium or hard ?

Do you recall making such a choice during the install ?

Thanks, Brian

badstrawberry

#34
Quote from: b22rian on July 28, 2008, 05:34:39 PM
Yes, I think the new traffiic sims were included in the april nam update..

But you would have still had to have made some choices as to which one you wanted to use..than..

First whether you wanted to use type A or type B...

And than in addition whether you wanted to go with easy, medium or hard ?

Do you recall making such a choice during the install ?

Thanks, Brian

No, I didn't make any choices as such - I'm using a mac and there was no installer as such, just a bunch of files to drag into a Plugins folder.  I don't recall any reference to all this in the readme file that was with the plugins, but i will look a little further into it now.


EDIT/UPDATE - OK, I just checked the folder and files that I dragged into Plugins folder and i read through the README again; there was no mention of all this.  However, when I was looking in subfolders I came across some more documentation which explained that I have to select certain files and discard others - so it looks as though you are onto something b22rian.  Thanks again for your help on this - I am going to make the relevant changes and then play again to see if it solves my earlier problems.

b22rian

#35
ah great badstrawberry...

Yes, these new traffic simulators have added a lot of new enjoyment for me with the game..

We have Jplumbey and Mott to thank for the improvements they have made with the path finding algorithms..

Once you get your files sorted I still encourage you to read carefully this thread..

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=3693.0

This will help you understand the new traffic sims better..

as id mentioned in the thread i recommend you start with hard difficulty  and than see how it goes as your cities

get larger and the traffic more challenging...

I have using traffic sim B on hard difficulty .. Im still hanging on in my largest city with 640 K population..

to that difficulty level and enjoying the challenge of seeing how long i can hold out as the population grows

still larger.. anyways keep us posted how you are doing ...

Thanks Brian

EDIT........

Actually i was reading some of the last posts from the traffic sim thread..and it does sound like if you have a

Mac as you do..your supposed to leave a lot of those files outside the plug in folder.. and than pick and chose

the files you want to use.. You may even want to consider re- installing ?

I dont have a Mac myself so i can only be of so much help to you, sorry...

badstrawberry

Quote from: b22rian on July 29, 2008, 05:43:01 PM
Actually i was reading some of the last posts from the traffic sim thread..and it does sound like if you have a

Mac as you do..your supposed to leave a lot of those files outside the plug in folder.. and than pick and chose

the files you want to use.. You may even want to consider re- installing ?

I dont have a Mac myself so i can only be of so much help to you, sorry...

Yes, all is running smoothly in my city now, and my sims seem happy to transfer between RAIL and GLR in the hub stations.  I wish the same could be said for the HSR hub I experimented with, but I believe the problem there is a known bug and may be rectified with future updates.

Sadly, I am also learning that having extra plugins seems to slow down my game, and this is experienced by many mac SC4 players - whether or not there is any truth in it, we mac users seem to think that this problem affects us more than windows SC4 players.  Also, I keep drawing a blank when looking for advice on creating custom lots, etc - again because I'm using a mac (which is not an intel mac and does not run windows).  I do have a PC as well, and a copy of SC4 for windows somewhere, but the PC is horribly under-spec and the version of SC4 for Windows I have is just the original and not the deluxe / rush hour version.

Nevermind...

Anyway, I'm going off-topic now, so I'll shut up.  Thanks again for your help B22rian and thanks again to Cogeo for the great work.

b22rian

ok glad your pathing problems have been sorted bad straw...

And also thats quite interesting about how plug ins slow the game down with users of macs also..

I wanted to pass along a couple links to you i think you would be interested in..

Your quite right about the HSR Hub having some problems and bugs.. If your interested in the latest findings

on that here is a thread over a  simtropolis you may be interested in reading...

http://www.simtropolis.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=124&thread=74279&STARTPAGE=47

its the posting by peace daddy near the bottom of the page..

Anyways, on the basis of his findings Ive decided to replace my 4 hsr hubs i had with these wonderful new

huge HSR stations available on the stex for dl..

http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/index.cfm?id=20139..

I replaced 3 of the hsr hubs with these monsters.. ( 4 track,  75 K capacity)

and the 4th hsr hub i replaced with a combination of different stations...

Now it was a lot of work because the hsr hub had multiple type networks but Ive managed quite well so far..

And it was actually fun, the challenge of figuring out what i wanted to do with the old network lines

and using different stations and so forth.. but i can tell you Ive been more than happy with these huge hsr

stations.. all of them are far surpassing the the old hsr hubs i was using previously in my city.. i think the best

usage of the 3 was 88 % which maybe dosent sound incredible .. but remember these are 75 k capacity !

Using those i think along with cogeco's great ghsr stations and your going to have quite an effective Hsr

network i would say.. And its funny too because in my old cities i was never really too impressed with

monorail/ hsr usage.. but this city the usage is off the charts really..

Brian

z

I am currently working on modifying the Traffic Volume View.  I notice that in the Traffic Congestion View, RTMT stations show up as if they're part of their attached network, with the congestion levels displayed properly.  But in the Traffic Volume View, no traffic is ever shown going through RTMT stations, and they just appear as gaps in the traffic flow.  Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?

z

I'm also working on building a new traffic simulator, and one of the changes I'm making is to increase the intersection effect in order to make it more realistic.  As I do this, another effect becomes clear:  It seems that the game is treating RTMT stations like intersections.  The stations themselves don't have reduced capacity, but the squares next to the stations seem to have their road capacity reduced in the same way as if they were sitting next to an intersection.  Are you aware of this, and do you know what causes it?  And if you do, is there any way to fix it?