NATSEM Seminar Series

A Heuristic Combination Optimisation Approach to Synthesising a Population for Agent-Based Modelling Purposes

Tue 14 February 2017Dr Nam Huynh / 11:00am-12:00pmSeminar Room 2, Building 24, University of Canberra

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This seminar presents an algorithm that follows the sample-free approach to synthesise a population for agent based modelling purposes. While most existing algorithms rely on a sample dataset, the fact that this algorithm does not rely on one makes it a novel contribution. It has potentially widespread application for situations in which such survey data is not available. In contrast to existing sample-free algorithms, the population synthesis presented hereby applies the heuristics to part of the allocation of synthetic individuals into synthetic households. As a result the iterative process which does this and which is normally the most computationally demanding and time consuming process, is required only for a subset of synthetic individuals. This means that the population synthesiser in this work is computationally efficient enough for practical application to build a large synthetic population (many millions) for many thousands target areas at the smallest possible geographical level. This capability ensures that the geographical heterogeneity of the resulting synthetic population is preserved. The application of the new method to synthesise the population for New South Wales in Australia in 2006 will also be presented. The resulting total synthetic population has approximately 6 million people living in over 2.3 million households residing in private dwellings across over 11,000 census collection districts (CCDs). Analyses show evidence that the synthetic population matches very well with the census data across seven demographic attributes that characterise the population at both household level and individual level.



Nam Huynh is a Research Fellow in the area of modelling and simulation of transport systems. He has vast experience in modelling and simulation for transport planning and operations research and has been actively working in the areas since 2009. He has been chief investigator in various commercial research projects in urban transport planning and rail logistics in collaboration with both government agencies and private sectors in New South Wales (Australia). Nam is currently the leader of the research group Computer Simulation for Sustainable Transport Systems at the SMART Infrastructure Facility. The group’s research aims at enhancing the understanding of capacity and robustness of transport networks and promoting the application of sophisticated computational tools for better planning and operation of these networks.

Nam’s research interests include the use computational modelling for urban transport planning, operations research, and intelligent transport systems (ITS).

This event is free to attend. You are welcome to forward this invitation to any interested guests.

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