MovSim: multi-model open-source vehicular-traffic simulator
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Latest commit 1a99cb9 Nov 15, 2017 @akegermany akegermany updated


Movsim == Multi-model open-source vehicular-traffic Simulator

Current build status for branch Master: Build Status Master

Current build status for branch develop: Build Status Bidirectional

Quick links to this file:


MovSim is a microscopic lane-based traffic simulator with xml-based configuration and csv text output. The simulator implements various car-following models and provides reference implementations for the models described in the textbook Traffic Flow Dynamics.

MovSim aims at modeling and simulating all basic traffic situations and discrete decision like lane changes, reacting to a traffic light, yielding and overtaking on rural roads. Lane changes are modeled with the general MOBIL strategy based on longitudinal accelerations which is applicable to other discrete decisions as well.

MovSim can be run from commandline or with a graphical user interface including visualization. Several output quantities can be written to file for further in-depth analysis. MovSim also provides a physics-based fuel-consumption model to calculate consumption on an individual or collective level.


  • multi-lane simulator including onramps, offramps, "flow-conserving bottlenecks" and traffic-lights
  • multiple models of different model classes (car-following models, coupled-map models and cellular automata)
    • Intelligent Driver Model (IDM) Paper, Wikipedia
    • Enhanced IDM/Adaptive Cruise Control Model Preprint
    • Optimal Velocity or Bando Model
    • Velocity Difference Model
    • Gipps Model Wikipedia
    • Krauss Model
    • Nagel-Schreckenberg Cellular Automaton Wikipedia
    • Kerner-Klenov-Wolf Cellular Automaton
  • general lane-changing model MOBIL Paper
  • detailed physics-based model for fuel consumption and emissions Paper and Book
  • drivers' behavioral models
  • text-file output of detectors, spatiotemporal fields, floating-car data etc.
  • road network description by the standard

Submodule Components:

  • The core contains the main MovSim library and a console application that can run a traffic simulation and produce .csv output for further processing or graphical display.
  • The viewer displays an animated traffic simulation.
  • The consumption comprises a physics-based fuel consumption model which can also be fed by csv data.
  • The xsd module comprises the xsd schema resources for the xml bindung (JAXB)
  • The common provides general functionality for all submodules.


A mathematical description of the models as well as the basic simulation and evaluation concepts can be found in the book Traffic Flow Dynamics by Treiber/Kesting. A good starting point is the free chapter about Car-Following Models based on Driving Strategies.

Documentation by example can be found in the sim directory.


Install the git version control system and clone the repository via ssh

git clone

or via https (to prevent firewall problems)

git clone

Java is required at least in version 7 (JRE 1.7).

[Apache Maven] ( is the software build and management tool for MovSim.

MovSim produces csv/text-based output that can be plotted using gnuplot or other tools.


To build MovSim, type mvn install from the main MovSim directory.

To run the movsim core or viewer see their respective readme files: core and viewer.


MovSim can be built and run from within the Eclipse IDE with the m2e(Maven Integration for Eclipse) plugin.

Import the project into Eclipse from the File >> Import menu item. In the resulting Select dialog, choose the General >> Existing Projects into Workspace option. In the resulting dialog select the movsim/core directory and import. Repeat for the movsim/viewer directory.

You can then build and run either the core or viewer Java applications.

We use the source code formatter movsim/misc/codestyle/eclipse_movsim_profile.xml.


We follow the naming conventions of the Git Flow Model. Please checkout the branch develop to start with the latest source code.


There are a number of simulation scenarios defined in the sim directory.

Movsim can not only used for simulating road traffic but has been used to model a cross-country skiing race Youtube.

Commercial use

For commercial use, please contact the copyright holders at

Copyright and License

MovSim is Copyright (C) 2010-2016 by Arne Kesting, Martin Treiber, Ralph Germ, and Martin Budden.

MovSim is licensed under GPL version 3.

For general questions use the contact at


[1] M. Treiber and A. Kesting. Traffic Flow Dynamics, Data, Models and Simulation. Springer 2013.

[2] A. Kesting, M. Treiber, and D. Helbing. General lane-changing model MOBIL for car-following models. Transportation Research Record, 86-94 (2007). Paper

[3] A. Kesting, M. Treiber, and D. Helbing. Enhanced intelligent driver model to access the impact of driving strategies on traffic capacity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 4585-4605 (2010). Preprint

[4] A. Kesting, M. Treiber, and D. Helbing. Agents for Traffic Simulation. Chapter 11 in "Multi-Agent Systems: Simulation and Applications", 325-356 (2009). Preprint

[5] M. Treiber, A. Kesting, and D. Helbing. Delays, inaccuracies and anticipation in microscopic traffic models. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 71-88 (2006). Preprint

[6] M. Treiber, and A. Kesting. An open-source microscopic traffic simulator. IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine, 6-13 (2010). Preprint