Publication Details

Barthelemy, J. & Toint, P. L. (2015). A stochastic and flexible activity based model for large population application to Belgium. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18 (3), 15-35.


The VirtualBelgium project aims at developing an understanding of the evolution of the Belgian population using agent-based simulations and considering various aspects of this evolution such as demographics, residential choices, activity patterns, mobility, etc. This simulation is based on a validated synthetic population consisting of approximately 10,000,000 individuals and 4,350,000 households located in the 589 municipalities of Belgium. The work presented in this paper focuses only on the mobility behaviour of such large populations and this is simulated using an activity-based approach in which the travel demand is derived from the activities performed by the individuals. The proposed model is distribution-based and requires only minimal information, but is designed to easily take advantage of any additional network-related data available. The proposed activity-based approach has been applied to the Belgian synthetic population. The quality of the agent behaviour is discussed using statistical criteria extracted from the literature and results show that VirtualBelgium produces satisfactory results.