Data Collection and Calibration of Simulation Models of Border Inspection Facilities

Traffic at borders between neighboring countries at vehicle-inspection facilities can create a significant amount of congestion, both in the inspection stations and in the queue waiting for the inspections, which in turn can influence the trade between the countries, as well as deteriorate the air quality and the socio-economic conditions at the border crossing points. Simulation modeling is increasingly becoming a powerful and effective tool for analyzing not only traffic networks but also other complex systems. The research reported here is the development of an integrated simulation model and its application and calibration to an inspection facility on the border between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Two simulation models using two software packages were developed and integrated; one used the microscopic traffic simulation software VISSIM and the other used the discrete-event simulation software ARENA. The former used by itself is commonly utilized to simulate traffic on a roadway network; the latter simulates facilities with production and/or service operations. The collection of data to calibrate and validate these models can be very challenging, as only limited “on-the-ground” data can be collected. In this study, we use two sources of non-intrusive data, including a truck license plate survey and airborne images from a helicopter. These data provide direct observations of waiting and inspection times in the port, and also describe the likely trajectories of trucks through the various inspection facilities. Finally, a case study using the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona, is used to illustrate the development and calibration of simulation models and the value of non-intrusive data collection for this purpose.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154622
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2727
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:19AM