We are pleased to inform you that the MARS research group was able to make a further contribution to the analysis and decision-making in urban road traffic with its SmartOpenHamburg project. In order to cope with the ever-increasing traffic in big cities, different solution strategies are simultaneously considered and also operated by many cities. In Hamburg, one of these strategies is the provision of all available means of transport at so-called HVV switch points (transport nodes where the load on the transport infrastructure is very high). One of these switch points is the underground station Kellinghusenstraße. As part of this work, HAW Hamburg has published an interesting article. Feel free to have a look at it here.
This year, the MARS Group took part in the ITS World Congress, an annual international event focused on technological innovation and policy initiatives around smart mobility and the digitalization of transport. The five-day event features a vast assortment of program sessions, live demonstrations, and an exhibition hall.
Multi-modality in urban traffic is becoming an increasingly important issue in modern traffic infrastructures. Ease of access and the ability to choose between multiple travel modalities can lower traffic volume on the streets and be conducive to meeting sustainability goals. To study multi-modality in an urban setting, the MARS Group developed a model in which agents travel from a subway station in Hamburg, Germany (U Kellinghusenstraße) to a nearby point of interest. They can do so using a number of owned and shared travel modalities, enabling the model to be used in the context of both behavior-related and traffic-related studies. The publication is available for download here.
This video was prepared for the ITS World Congress and showcases a visualization of a simulation output.
After roughly 18 months of self-isolation, and social distancing, the MARS Team finally reunited for their annual tradition at the MARS BBQ 2021. While we have been busy as ever during the pandemic, many of us haven’t seen each other in person since early 2020. Needless to say, it was pure joy to be back together, eating, drinking, talking, discussing, and enjoying (mostly) pleasant Hamburg summer weather.
We wish all of our friends, colleagues, collaborators, and everyone else similar opportunities in the very near future. While the end of Covid-19 is still not ubiquitously in sight, our hope is that all of us can enjoy the physical presence and company of those we care for much more regularly again. Cheers!
This year’s ITS Hackathon took place from 1:00pm on October 30th through 3:00pm on October 31st. This is an event at which computer scientists, data analysts, and people from other related disciplines get together to solve current challenges in the areas of urban mobility and logistics through the use of data, models, and IT tools in an interactive and creative setting. For information on the event, please click here.
The MARS Group contributed to the event by providing two MARS model scenarios. The first scenario simulates ferry traffic and dock workers in the central area of Hamburg; the second scenario simulates travel by bike (depending on the placement and availability of bike sharing stations) in the central part of the district of Harburg, Hamburg. In addition, Thomas Clemen provided an introductory kick-off speech for the event and Ulfia Lenfers server on the team of jurors to rank the teams’ performances.
Despite this year’s restrictive measures due to Covid-19, it was a fun, insightful, and successful two days of problem-solving and engaged discussion. For more information, check out this post by the HAW Hamburg (in German).
We are delighted to inform you that Ulfia Lenfers has acquired her PhD! In her thesis, she describes her in-depth study of current and future tree distribution in the Savannah Lowveld – at the hands of negative impact by elephants and firewood collectors – using a digital twin of the Kruger National Park (KNP) designed by MARS. The study took place as part of a joing project between the MARS Group and Prof. Dr. R. Duttmann at the the Geographic Institute at the Christian-Albrechts-University (CAU) in Kiel. The thesis defense was on 13 July 2020.
Cheers and congratulations, Dr. rer. nat. Ulfia A Lenfers!
During the summer semester 2020, the MARS DSL (click here to download the modeling handbook) was used in a course named Artificial Intelligence and Software Agents taught by Thomas Clemen at the HAW Hamburg. For the final project of the course, a multiagent-based game framework was created to simulate a LaserTag game in MARS. In each game, four teams of agents compete against each other for the highest score. Here is a visual representation of what a MARS LaserTag arena might look like.
The challenge for the students was to program their agents’ behavior – in a way that they think is strategically best to bring them victory. In a tournament setup, eight teams ot students had to let their agents compete against each other for first place. It was a fun event which provided great insight into artificial intelligence and agent behavior.
To check out the LaserTag framework, please contact us here.
Florian Ocker, a long-time MARS Group member, has completed his Master’s degree. For his thesis, he used the MARS modeling system to develop a multimodal traffic model (which enables agents to travel on foot, by bicycle, and by car) for the district Altona in Hamburg, Germany. The overarching goals of the study were to examine a) the general feasibility of mapping multimodal travel behavior onto a multiagent model in MARS and b) the extent to which different configurations and combinations of multimodal travel might impact travel time.