Evaluation of the Default Parameters of CORSIM and VISSIM Traffic Simulation Software on Basic Freeway Segments Using Field Data


K. C. P. Wang; S. Madanat; S. S. Nambisan; G. Spring

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Applications of Advanced Technology in Transportation: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference,


American Society of Civil Engineers

First page number:


Last page number:



Analysis of traffic conditions on freeways and arterial streets is critical to predict network performance. Aside from this, the results from the analyses are key inputs into funding decisions for construction, operation and maintenance of various projects. Several computer software programs exist that are capable of performing such traffic analyses and simulations. Software, such as TSIS/CORSIM, VISSIM, ITRAF and INTEGRATION to name a few, all claim to make accurate estimates of level-of-service, speeds, density, vehicle delays, emissions and other performance measures. However, each of these programs has their strengths and weaknesses. Their performance in terms of reproducing observed field conditions depend on the traffic conditions at hand and how well the models are calibrated. The main objective of this paper is to compare and evaluate CORSIM and VISSIM simulation software using default parameters for traffic conditions on basic freeway segments based on their ability to accurately reflect real-time observed field traffic conditions. Data were collected on a 2.5-mile basic freeway segment on US-95 in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The observed speeds were in the range of 42 mph to 60 mph. Results from CORSIM and VISSIM show that the average speeds of operation are in the range of 55 mph to 60 mph. Both the software overestimated average speeds and underestimated traffic volumes when traffic volumes were high. However, both the software generated better average speeds when traffic volumes were low, though CORSIM overestimated traffic volumes significantly. In general, when compared with the real world data, in most cases CORSIM results are closer to reality than those obtained using VISSIM. However, there are many more such aspects, which need to be considered when selecting simulation software for analysis. For example, in CORSIM, speed generally means the average speed of a complete link considering all vehicles. However, average speeds can be calculated for each individual vehicle or for any given class of vehicles using VISSIM. The advantages and disadvantages of using the traffic simulation software to reproduce the real world data are discussed.


Computer simulation; Express highways; Streets; Traffic engineering; Traffic flow; Traffic speed


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Computational Engineering | Engineering | Other Civil and Environmental Engineering




Conference held: Boston Marriot, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, August 5-7, 2002


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