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Seventh Framework Programme COLOMBO project This part of SUMO was developed, reworked, or extended within the project "COLOMBO", co-funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme.

How To Describe Scenarios

The COLOMBO project has promised to deliver "well defined" synthetic and real-world scenarios. While working on that, we had to recognize that "well defined" should be as well defined. Below, you may find some thoughts about describing scenarios.


We found [!!!] that when evaluating any kind of traffic management applications (such as new traffic light control algorithms) using traffic simulations, every researcher uses his/her own scenarios. And often, they are not described properly.

As a result, it is hard to say how good a developed algorithm really is as the results are not comparable.

Our idea to solve this problem is to introduce well-defined scenarios which you can cite. Then, a reader can determine how the scenario looks like, and is capable to understand the results of the research better. Thinking further, a direct comparison of results would get possible.


A "scenario" in that case describes all the definitions needed to perform a simulation run. We currently stick to the ones the traffic simulation we use (SUMO) needs. The major ones to list are:

  • the road network
  • the demand
  • additional traffic light programs
  • additional infrastructure elements, such as sensor positions, bus stops, etc.

The road network