While most of you are probably still busy trying out all the new features of Release 6, we are already working on the new developments for the next release. Here is a short outline of some of the projects that are currently in alpha testing.
The EMME/2 auto assignment was enhanced to allow for assignments based on generalized cost. While for single class assignments this was always possible by coding the generalized cost directly into the volume-delay functions, this new feature is particularly useful for multi-class assignments. The generalized cost is obtained by adding a fixed link cost (converted into travel time equivalents) to the network times obtained from volume-delay and turn penalty functions. By specifying a different vector of fixed costs for each user class, it is possible to implement multiclass assignments in which each user class perceives a different generalized cost (e.g. as would result from assuming class specific values of time).
In the additional options of the auto assignment, a new path operator cutoff has been added which allows retaining only partial trips in the slave assignment. If this new feature is activated, the additional link attribute is taken as a distance measure and only the part of a trip is retained which is within given distances from origin and/or destination zone. An evident application of this new possibility is assessing the effects of cold starts, which is a key factor when implementing detailed air pollution models.
The matrix calculator, module 3.21, has been enhanced to allow matrix names in expressions. With this development, unique matrix names are now accepted as alternatives to matrix identifiers throughout the system. Thus, now the user always has the choice to access the matrices either by their numbers or by their (unique) names.
Note that all the new developments mentioned above are not yet available for general release. They are currently undergoing in-house testing at INRO. Then, they will be beta-tested at selected user sites, before being distributed as part of the next official release.