TRACCappsoftware

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Traffic Simulation and Evacuation Planning

TRANSIMS

  • Overview

The Transportation Analysis and Simulation System (TRANSIMS) is a set of travel modeling procedures designed to meet state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations’ need for more accurate and more sensitive travel forecasts for transportation planning. The Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency funded the development of TRANSIMS. It is available through the TRANSIMS open source project at SourceForge. TRANSIMS has been tested with data from Dallas, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Chicago, Illinois, and it has already produced significant changes in travel forecasting processes. TRANSIMS differs from previous travel demand forecasting methods in its underlying concepts and structure. These differences include:

  • A consistent and continuous representation of time;
  • A detailed representation of individual persons and households;
  • A fully time-dependent routing capability; and
  • A microsimulator executing the multimodal movement of individual travelers.

TRANSIMS builds synthetic populations based on census and survey data; estimates activities for all individuals and households; plans multimodal trips satisfying those activities; assigns specific routes to these trips; and creates a microsimulation of all pedestrians, vehicles, and transit vehicles over the entire transportation system, resulting in extremely detailed traffic data in a given study area. TRANSIMS outputs detailed data on the movement of each traveler on a second-by-second basis and generates detailed aggregate information, such as congestion indicators, queue lengths, screen line counts, and much more. Such information is increasingly important for investment decisions and as the basis for setting government policy. Because TRANSIMS simulates and tracks travel by individuals, the benefits to and impacts on different geographies and travel markets can be evaluated as well. Furthermore, TRANSIMS has the capability to evaluate highly congested scenarios and operational changes on highways and transit systems.

  • Initial TRACC Applications

TRACC is using the TRANSIMS software for a number of projects, including a study of emergency evacuation scenarios for the Chicago Business District. TRACC’s main goal for TRANSIMS is to provide access to the rather complicated application as an integrated package, including

  • A high-performance computing platform that can run TRANSIMS models much more efficiently than on a desktop computer and can minimize the load on local desktop machines;
  • Stable versions of TRANSIMS on TRACC’s high-performance cluster platform, built with special high-performance compilers (PathScale, Intel) and tested thoroughly before deployment;
  • Data storage for both intermediate files and final results, including the reliability of TRACC's advanced hardware such as the 240-terabytes high-speed RAID arrays, multiple dedicated file servers, and extensive backup capabilities on the 160-terabyte tape robot; and
  • High-speed remote access through Argonne's high-speed network infrastructure with universities and research centers around the globe.

TRACC researchers have undertaken a number of activities that improve the use of TRANSIMS on the high-performance cluster. These include:

  • Development of TRANSIMS training materials that will be used in training courses as necessary to support new users, giving them the ability to start projects quickly and efficiently.
  • Participation in the open-source project, which is improving the use of TRANSIMS on high-performance computing platforms and modern server and desktop machine architectures.
  • Parallelization of TRANSIMS components to make use of multicore desktop machines, servers, and Linux clusters. Furthermore, a message passing interface will allow clusters of machines to work on single applications, reducing the some of the TRANSIMS tools execution time to a mere fraction of the time currently required.
  • Development of advanced visualization techniques for TRANSIMS applications, working in collaboration with the National Center of Computing Applications.
  • Evaluation of special visualization capabilities in collaboration with the Technology Research, Education, and Commercialization Center.
  • Using TRANSIMS@TRACC

Under Construction at external wiki See "Using the Cluster"

  • TRANSIMS Training and References

Under Construction

Computational Fluid Dynamics

STAR-CD

  • Overview

STAR-CD is a mature high-performance computational fluid dynamics (CFD) environment that has been licensed for TRACC from CD-adapco. STAR-CD can perform reliable analysis of complex, multiscale transport phenomena in realistic industrial systems. STAR-CD is well suited to the solution of large-model simulations that benefit from efficient solution algorithms, memory utilization, and scalability on multiple processors. It features a well-integrated platform for creating high fidelity models from concept, or body-fitted meshes from existing CAD geometry models. It has robust solver technology for powerful multi-physics simulations involving turbulence, heat transfer, and reacting and multiphase flows. It also provides a means for users to add new physics that can be expressed as source terms in the differential equations via user defined subroutines.

The recent advancements in STAR-CD´s CAD-embedded technology and optimized polyhedral mesh generation dramatically improve its productivity and reliability, and enable analysts with widely varying skills and experience to gain insights from CFD.

STAR-CD is also equipped with a rich selection of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models, versatile code-coupling capability, and powerful custom programming utilities, making it well suited to a wide variety of applications of interest to the TRACC community.

The STAR-CD license allows an unlimited number of concurrent jobs, and they can use all of the available cores.

  • Current TRACC Applications

TRACC, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC), and researchers at the University of Nebraska and Northern Illinois University are collaborating on the study of CFD-based simulation techniques. Researchers are taking reduced-scale experiments from the TFHRC hydraulics laboratory, providing the data for CFD model development, and producing a validated CFD-based advanced simulation methodology for open-channel flow, with an emphasis on riverbed scouring under bridges and the evaluation of lift and drag forces acting on bridge structures during floods.

The applicability of commercial CFD codes such as STAR-CD for prediction of these phenomena is being investigated, and the agreement between the code predictions and experimental data will be determined for various modeling options. The scalability of these simulations to large numbers of processors, particularly for the simulation of full-scale bridge deck interactions, is being evaluated and guidelines will be developed for the decomposition of problems of this type. Cross-code comparisons of the calculated results to evaluate computational efficiency and accuracy are also under investigation.

  • Using STAR-CD at TRACC

Detailed instructions for using STAR-CD on the TRACC cluster can be found on the TRACC wiki at STAR-CD. Because geometry manipulation and meshing are done in the preprocessor and these can be computationally intensive tasks, it is best to perform these tasks on a compute node. Instructions for reserving, logging into, and using a compute node with graphical user interfaces are also found on the TRACC wiki at Accessing a compute node.

  • STAR-CD at TRACC Training and Reference Materials

TRACC STAR-CD licensed users are given access to the STAR-CD documentation, including a user guide with tutorials. TRACC does not provide STAR-CD training, but it does provide training for STAR-CCM+ which is CD-adapco’s more powerful CFD application.

STAR-CCM+

  • Overview

STAR-CCM+ is CD-adapco´s newest CFD software product. While it uses the well established CFD solver technologies available in STAR-CD, it employs a new client-server architecture and object oriented user interface to provide a highly integrated and powerful CFD analysis environment to users. This environment includes advanced pre and post-processing tools, including CAD import geometry surface analysis, automated surface repair, tools for identification and hand repair of small numbers of surface defects, tunable surface wrapping to retain the amount of surface detail required for CFD analysis, advanced automated meshing that yields polyhedral, hexahedral, or tetrahedral volume meshes, pre-simulation post processing visualization setup that can be used to monitor the progress of a simulation during solution, and a variety of other tools to ease the work of CFD analysts, such as the ability to copy and paste model components between models.

With its new graphical user interface including many automated tools for meshing, solution monitoring, and post processing visualization, and plotting of primary variables and derived quantities, STAR-CCM+ is one of the easiest full featured CFD software packages to learn.

The STAR-CCM+ license allows an unlimited number of concurrent jobs, and they can use all of the available processors and cores.

  • Current TRACC Applications

TRACC, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC), and researchers at the University of Nebraska and Northern Illinois University are collaborating on the study of CFD-based simulation techniques. Researchers are taking reduced-scale experiments from the TFHRC hydraulics laboratory, providing the data for CFD model development, and producing a validated CFD-based advanced simulation methodology for open-channel flow, with an emphasis on riverbed scouring under bridges and the evaluation of lift and drag forces acting on bridge structures during floods.

The applicability of commercial CFD codes such as STAR-CCM+ for prediction of these phenomena is being investigated, and the agreement between the code predictions and experimental data will be determined for various modeling options. The scalability of these simulations to large numbers of processors, particularly for the simulation of full-scale bridge deck interactions, is being evaluated and guidelines will be developed for the decomposition of problems of this type. Cross-code comparisons of the calculated results to evaluate computational efficiency and accuracy are also under investigation.

  • Using STAR-CCM+ at TRACC

Detailed instructions for using STAR-CCM+ on the TRACC cluster can be found on the TRACC wiki at STAR-CCM+. Because geometry manipulation and meshing are done in the preprocessor and these can be computationally intensive tasks, it is best to perform these tasks on a compute node. Instructions for reserving, logging into, and using a compute node with graphical user interfaces are also found on the TRACC wiki at Accessing a compute node. STAR-CCM+ preprocessing, including meshing, currently runs in serial mode only, and therefore mesh size is limited by the memory available on a node. Normal login and compute nodes have 4 GB of memory. STAR-CCM+ can mesh about 4 million cells/GB memory for hexahedral trimmed meshes and tetrahedral meshes and about 1 million cells/GB memory for polyhedral meshes. For the generation of larger meshes, two nodes are available with 8 GB of memory and two are available with 32 GB of memory. Instructions for submitting jobs to these nodes are found on the TRACC wiki at Large memory jobs.

  • STAR-CCM+ Training and References

TRACC offers STAR-CCM+ CFD training [1] with hands-on tutorials in the spring and fall.

TRACC STAR-CCM+ licensed users are given access to the STAR-CCM+ documentation, including a user guide with tutorials.

STAR-Design

  • Overview

STAR-Design is a basic CFD software program by CD-adapco that includes the functions needed to create the surface geometry that can be used in simulations in the more advanced software packages STAR-CCM+ and STAR-CD CFD. Using STAR-Design, fairly complex geometries can be created by combining the geometric primitives: sphere, block, cylinder, cone, torus, and prism using Boolean operations. This capability frees CFD engineers from having to rely on CAD engineers to build the surface geometry for a flow simulation with a CAD software package, at least for problems that have a reasonably simple geometry. Once a geometry is created, it can be exported in a variety of standard CAD surface file formats, which can be imported to define the surface geometry in most commercial CFD software.

  • Current TRACC Applications

TRACC applications for this software are the construction of surface geometry definition files for import into CFD simulation software.

  • Using STAR-Design at TRACC

Detailed instructions for using STAR-Design on the TRACC cluster can be found on the TRACC Wiki at STAR-Design

  • STAR-Design Training and References

A simple bridge deck can be constructed in less than a hour in STAR-Design, and the procedure for building it is part of one of the hands-on tutorials provided in TRACC's STAR-CCM+ CFD software training. TRACC STAR-Design licensed users are given access to the STAR-Design documentation, including a user guide with tutorials.

ANSYS FLUENT

  • Overview

ANSYS FLUENT's broad physical modeling capabilities have been applied to industrial applications ranging from airflow over an aircraft wing to combustion in a furnace, from bubble columns to glass production, from blood flow to semiconductor manufacturing, and from clean-room design to wastewater treatment plants.

Because of its ability to model in-cylinder engines, aero acoustics, turbo machinery, and multiphase systems, thousands of companies throughout the world use this important engineering design and analysis tool. Its extensive range of multiphysics capabilities makes it one of the most comprehensive software tools available to the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research community. FLUENT is user-friendly and robust, making it easy for new users to learn and apply to problems of interest in transportation.

The TRACC FLUENT license allows for four simultaneous jobs or pre and post processing tasks using up to 36 cores on the TRACC cluster.

  • Initial TRACC Applications

Researchers from TRACC and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are using commercial CFD codes, such as FLUENT, in focused application areas that include analysis of riverbed scour under bridges in flooding conditions and the evaluation of lift and drag forces acting on flooded bridge decks.

TRACC, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC), and researchers at the University of Nebraska and Northern Illinois University are collaborating on the of study CFD-based simulation techniques. Researchers are taking reduced-scale experiments from the TFHRC hydraulics laboratory, providing the data for CFD model development, and producing a validated CFD-based advanced simulation methodology for open-channel flow, with an emphasis on bridge scouring and the forces on bridge structures during floods.

The University of Iowa has been using FLUENT in the study of wind loads on highway sign and traffic signal structures.

  • Using ANSYS FLUENT at TRACC

Detailed instructions and advice for using FLUENT at TRACC can be found on the TRACK Wiki at FLUENT.

Flow 3D

  • Overview
  • Initial TRACC Applications
  • Using FLOW 3D@TRACC
  • FLOW 3D Training and References
    • Not Available

Computational Structural Dynamics

LSDyna

File:LSDyna Webupdates.doc

  • Overview*

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) current and near-future need for computational structural mechanics led the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center (TRACC) researchers to select the commercial LS-DYNA software, developed by Livermore Software Technology Corporation, as TRACC’s primary structural analysis tool. It will be used for modeling and simulating bridge and cable dynamics, and crash events (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-barrier). USDOT’s bridge analysis and crash communities currently use LS-DYNA, and will not require any additional training to use the software at TRACC. LS-DYNA, which is continuously being upgraded, contains many features that can handle the complexities embedded in USDOT's structural and media-structure interaction problems. The solvers include both explicit- and implicit-time integration schemes and a robust Eigen problem solver. The software also uses both finite-element methodology and the newer mesh-free methodology, an important factor in the choice of the software. It also employs the traditional Lagrangian, Eulerian and Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian formulations for solving continua problems. LS-DYNA has been tested extensively on many parallel computing architectures and operating systems, and it has been used widely by industry, including the automotive, aircraft, metal forming, manufacturing, defense, and biomedical industries. TRACC has a 288 CPU (core) license with Livermore Software and Technology Corporation for use of the LS-DYNA suite of codes, which includes LS-DYNA, LS-PrePost®, and LS-OPT®.

  • Initial TRACC Applications

TRACC researchers have benchmarked the TRACC high-performance cluster on mathematical operations typically used in solving CSM problems: matrix operations, equation solving, etc. Standard numerical computation benchmarks such as LINPACK and NAS Parallel Benchmarks were exercised. LS-DYNA has been benchmarked on USDOT’s current problems of interest, such as bridge dynamics and vehicle crash simulations. Using a bridge model developed by the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center, cluster performance for core (CPU) counts ranging from 4 to 512 have been evaluated. Similarly, cluster performance for the suite of crash problems available from TopCrunch has been run successfully.

  • Using LS-DYNA® @TRACC

Application Notes [[3]]

Using NoMachines Graphics Application [[4]]

  • LS-DYNA® Training and References

November 2008 Training Session Schedule

ABAQUS®

  • Overview

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) current and near-future need for computational structural mechanics led the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center (TRACC) researchers to select the commercial ABAQUS software as one of TRACC’s primary structural analysis tool. It will initially be used for modeling and simulating asphalt pavement response to traffic loading, multiscale modeling of road materials and highway performance assessment. USDOT University Transportation Centers currently use ABAQUS, and will not require any additional training to use the software at TRACC. TRACC has a 32 CPU (core) license with Dassault Systèmes Simulia Corporation for use of the Abaqus suite of codes—primarily for university researchers. The TRACC ABAQUS license includes the following major analysis products:

  1. ABAQUS/Standard
  2. ABAQUS/Explicit
  3. ABAQUS/Aqua
  4. Abaqus/Design
  5. one seat of ABAQUS/CAE, which provides a complete interactive environment for creating models, submitting and monitoring analysis jobs, and viewing and manipulating simulation results.
  • Initial TRACC Applications

Researchers at Michigan Technological University are using ABAQUS to develop a microstructure-based modeling approach to characterize asphalt materials. At the Louisiana Transportation Research Center, researchers are developing finite element models to simulate performance of pavement structures, specifically for rutting performance of the chemically stabilized base/subbase materials under accelerated loading.

  • Using ABAQUS® @TRACC

Applications Notes and Instructions for use -->[[5]]

  • ABAQUS® Training and References

under development by RKulak/JBernard -->external wiki

Mesh Generators, Toolkits, Utilities,Compilers

MatLab [[6]]

  • Overview
  • Initial TRACC Applications
  • Using FLOW 3D@TRACC
  • FLOW 3D Training and References
    • Not Available

NoMachine

  • Overview
  • Initial TRACC Applications
  • Using NoMachines@TRACC
    • Using NoMachines Graphics Application [[8]]
  • NoMachines Training and References
    • Not Available

TrueGrid

  • Overview
    • under development by RKulak
  • Initial TRACC Applications
    • under development by RKulak
  • Using TruGrid@TRACC
    • under development by RKulak/JBernard -->[[9]]
  • TrueGrid Training and References

Compilers --> GNU, Intel, Pathscale [[10]]