Data Modelling Strategy

Minnerva has provided significant support to Mouchel Essex in a project for Medway Council that aimed to advance initial proposals for an enhanced public transport system in the Medway area. The work relates the data survey and modelling needs required to satisfy the UK Department for Transport's Major Scheme Appraisal procedures.

This led to the definition of a software modelling framework which recognised that no one modelling package could satisfy all of the types of modelling required for the area; which went beyond the initial objective of enhancing public transport in the area. This meant it was necessary to consider using sets of models that could be used independently of each other, although using a common and consistent data.

Building such a modelling framework can be overwhelming when considering scope, implementation and cost. To address this, an objective was to define an approach that was largely incremental in nature and more readily manageable than one that emphasised one or just a few large component steps.

However, adopting an incremental approach generates its own problems as the existing increments can be unsatisfactory in meeting transport scheme and policy interests, which are not necessarily incremental in nature. Also several increments can easily lead to costly inconsistencies and discontinuities that undermine the achievement of the objectives.

A conceptual and operational framework was defined to deliver capabilities with relevance to meet planning needs and in a suitable order of priority; the framework was derived from consideration of transport policy, modelling, and management issues. Facilities were defined that helped make the framework operational and responsibilities were identified so that work effort could be structured and managed to best effect.

(Contact: Martin Bach)