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SGI-powered Traffic and Transportation Simulation Enables Planning for Traffic Efficiency and Emergency Evacuation


SGI Altix 4700 Leverages Shared Memory and Scalability to Deliver Traffic Modeling and Analysis
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (March 2008)—An SGI® Altix® 4700 from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is enabling sophisticated traffic simulation at the recently unveiled Universal Transportation Model Simulation Center (UTMSC) at City College of New York (CCNY). The center is using the high performance computing solution to run traffic simulators and models for traffic planning, signal optimization and network flow. These models can be used to meet escalating traffic demands or to establish an effective transportation plan in the event of a disaster.

The SGI Altix 4700, powered by 40 Intel® Itanium2® processors, was installed in February, 2007.

Running VISTA™ traffic simulation software on the powerful SGI platform, researchers, public agencies and private consulting firms can generate large scale models for a number of different scenarios. These include transportation planning models to evaluate the impact of various infrastructure changes and assessing traffic control measures such as signal timing, speed limit changes, and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. Also included are evacuation and emergency response models to be used in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophe.

“Traffic simulation is a very data intensive application,” said Dr. Neville Parker, director of UTMSC, CUNY Institute for Transportation Systems. “The 40 core SGI Altix 4700 platform provides the low latency, scalability and expansive shared memory we need to allow multiple users to run our large-scale transportation models simultaneously.”

“We’ve already seen significant speed in performance,” continued Dr. Parker. “The SGI Altix 4700 simulates traffic at over 8x real time for medium sized regional networks and can perform forty such simulations in parallel.”

“The models and simulations that UTMSC is making possible will have a far ranging impact on commuters in the New York Metropolitan area,” said Doug Britt, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales at SGI. “The list of uses for these models is staggering. Using simulation software on the Altix 4700, UTMSC can evaluate potential results of special events such as the Super Bowl or changes in travel demand on a particular route, such as the opening of a new shopping center. They can even provide scenarios for large scale emergency evacuation.”
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