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RayM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Traffic X - Traffic Generator
    Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 4:46pm
Has anyone worked out the 'logic' behind the Traffic Generator?

I am working on KMEV (Minden/Tahoe) and was hoping to get some Traffic X generated business traffic as I normally do when I have 'done' other airports.
Whenever I modify an airfield, I Update the airfield data in Traffic X so that it knows about parking spaces, etc. I usually then run Traffic Generator and Traffic Movements to get the revised business traffic in my FSXA. I have got used to 'seeing' business traffic at other airfields that I have changed in this way.
However, having added some extra parking at KMEV, I am not getting ANY business traffic - I would have expected to get some but none is appearing. I have inspected the .TCC file and there are no entries that include KMEV!

What factors govern whether Traffic X will generate traffic? Any ideas?
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 4:58pm
Hi, Ray,

Traffic X doesn't actually do the traffic generation. Traffic X uses the TrafficDatabaseBuilder utility that is part of the FSX SDK. Here are two quick paragraphs from the documentation that is found in the SDK:

"The easiest way to use the TrafficDatabaseBuilder is to let it automatically schedule the aircraft and routes for you, which will quickly fill the skies and airports with traffic.  However, if you want to have aircraft fly specific routes and schedules, you’ll need to manually create schedules, which is a bit more difficult and time consuming."

"If you choose the automatic option, the maximum amount of traffic is determined by the number of airports and parking spaces.  Each parking space has a radius and classification that determine what types of aircraft can use it.  Airports with gate parking spaces serve airliners, and airports with mostly ramp parking spaces primarily serve general aviation traffic.  When scheduling parking spaces, the TrafficDatabaseBuilder assumes that a parking space will be occupied for a minimum of 45 minutes."

Unfortunately, the above two paragraphs don't provide as many details as we'd like to see, and I haven't found much of anything else by searching the Internet. However, there are some things to consider outside of the TrafficDatabaseBuilder when creating AI traffic.

The parking space sizes that are available at an airport are important. If all of the spaces that could accommodate a particular aircraft are already being used by other aircraft, then your aircraft will have no place to park.

Additionally, it's important to know the exact parking space size that is required by a particular aircraft. This is where I love to make use of the freeware AI-Aircraft Editor utility. Below is a screenshot that shows what AI-Aircraft Editor shows for a freeware Bombardier Challenger 300 that I use for AI.



Note that in the above image a minimum parking spot size of 10 meters has been calculated. AI-Aircraft Editor and its newer .net version can be downloaded from The Owl's Nest Download Center.

Another consideration is to look at what is shown in the Fleet Database of Traffic X's Traffic Control Centre. In the case of the Bombardier 300, I had to change the "max Range (nm)." Now I have it reflecting the real aircraft's specifications, and I have less worry about the aircraft being out of range of a particular airport. (See below image)



Incidentally, a problem that I encountered after installing the Bombardier 300 into FSX was that it would not function as an AI aircraft. I fixed that problem by copying the entire folder of the Bombardier 300 and creating an AI version within the second folder. The Bombardier 300 now functions as an AI aircraft, since I substituted the panel from the default FSX Boeing 737 as shown in the below image.



Shortly after purchasing Traffic X, years ago, I found the Traffic Generator to be excessively random. I haven't used it in many years. I place a high value on avoiding frustration.

Dan

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RayM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2018 at 9:37am
Dan,

thanks for your reply - I really should have known that TrafficX uses the SDK programs for Traffic Generation!

Have had a quick read thru of the SDK and will see if I can understand a bit more about this process.
Have already found what may be giving me my lack of AI at my latest airfield. Looking at the "airports.dat" file in TrafficX folders, there is no entry for this airport, even though it is -
a) a default airfield
b) it shows in the TrafficX GUI listings with the correct parking spots, etc. This (I believe) displays what is in the "airports.tcc" file also in the TrafficX folders.
Traffic generator probably uses this "airports.dat" file.

Will do some more testing on this.

Yes, I also regularly use the AI-Aircraft Editor for making changes to the "aircraft.cfg" files as well as AIFP for creating AI schedules (for creating AI schedules that I 'always' want to see) as well as the 'random' AI that TrafficX can and does create.

I am also interested in your creation of AI versions of 'flyable' aircraft - I have sometimes thought about this action but never yet tried - not knowing what sections to remove from the flyable aircraft. Would likely improve FPS if using too many 'full' aircraft as AI.
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2018 at 11:15am
Hi, again,

I'm not sure why there is no entry for the airport in the airports.dat file, but then I just woke up from a short-night's sleep. American Indians have been known to use a wonderful expression when something is puzzling: "It makes my head hurt."  Confused

I can tell you what I do after I have modified an airport:

I go to this folder: JustFlight>TrafficX>AirportFacilities>Scenery. Your path probably contains "AirportFacilitiesX" rather than "Airport Facilities." (I didn't like the airport files in the Scenery folder of AirportFacilitiesX, so I deleted all of them).

I put my newly-modified airport into the above Scenery folder. I also check the folder for an old file of the same airport...a file name that begins with "AF2" or "AFX". If I find an old file, I rename it to deactivate it and, thereby, avoid having two files for the same airport. The next time I run FSX, my modified airport is automatically pulled into FSX. (I can also check for duplicate airport files by using the File Priority Analyzer tool that is available in ADE 1.75...not sure if ProKey is required for that tool to be available).

Let us know what you come up with for a solution.

Dan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2018 at 12:03pm
Dan,

yes, I agree with your procedure for avoiding multiple airport entries - I do something similar.

An interesting (?) find during my initial investigations.

Did a re-compile of some schedules using TX. Now have any entry in "airports.dat" (in TX) for my airfield KMEV - BUT the list of parking spots is much greater in number than what it should be. When I modified KMEV (using ADE) I added more spots to get some 'activity' but the list of spots in the "airports.dat" contains spots of sizes that do not exist!

More digging may be required!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2018 at 9:42pm
Wow! Nonexistent business traffic at an airport with spots of nonexistent sizes!

I guess I'd use the Traffic Toolbox (if you've installed it into FSX from the SDK), and select Dump Airport List, saving the file with a .dat extention. Then, within the Traffic X TCC, press the "Import new" button. I realize this is not a new airport, but doing the above might eliminate file corruption, if there is any.

If your parking spots continue to multiply (hopefully not), then you have the basis for a new movie: "The Airport That Took Over The Planet."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2018 at 4:03pm
Well, after a load of testing / reading SDK / testing, etc., I am no clearer on why this airport is not generating any Random Business AI by TX - still a mystery when other airports I have modified have, generally been allocated some Random Business Traffic.

What I have discovered is that the files in the \compiler folder of TX are generated every time any TX compiling is carried out and are directly the RESULT of that compile action and are not the base files that are used when you use the Random Business Traffic generator. This process obviously uses a different version of the compiler (different OPTION_STRINGS) to create the 'random' traffic but I haven't fathomed out how it does it.
Using the "Import New" or "Update Existing" in the Airport Information page updates the file "Airports.tcc" but this file is 'compiled' and thereby not 'readable' except by using the Airport Information page. This page reflects the correct number of parking spots at my KMEV airport.

I suspect my lack of Random Business Traffic at KMEV is down to the fact that it is a relatively small airport - I will see what happens at further similar airports that I work on.

Dan, I thank you for taking an interest in my dilemma.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2018 at 11:42pm
I would like to see freddy come around and get involved in this discussion. It wouldn't hurt to get a third mind involved.

Did you run the Fault Finder in ADE before saving and compiling the airport? I only mention this because sometimes I get in a hurry and forget to do so. Is the parking list in ADE correct? I expect your answers to the previous two questions will be "yes," but it doesn't hurt to ask.

You could try setting up a custom flight plan to and from KMEV, using one of your business aircraft, to verify correct functioning. Also, have you tried changing the density slider in the Traffic Generator? (It's worth remembering that it will go above 100 percent).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2018 at 9:23am
Dan,

from past experience, I suspect Freddy must be on holiday or otherwise busy as he normally gets involved in these types of discussions!

Yes, I am a stickler for using the ADE Fault Finder and yes, the parking list in ADE and the list shown in TX agree (apart from TX not listing Vehicle or Fuel spots).

In the absence of TX Random traffic, I have entered some 'business' traffic in TX using TX_VFR_USA.tcc but with "IFR" settings, as well as a few with AIFP, just to get some business traffic which was otherwise missing. After all, this is an airport that has quite a lot of modern industry around it and must surely have biz-jets coming and going?

No, I haven't deviated from setting of about 65% in my density slider - I find this to be a fair value that avoids an over-density of biz-traffic at airports where this does work. But I will try 100% and higher values just to test for the result.

This is really good brain-cell activity isn't it? Makes a change from the actual 'flying' - I find that I 'fly' for only about 10% of the time I spend in this activity, what with modifying airports, checking schedules, adjusting and creating callsigns, etc.
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2018 at 8:36pm
Since freddy lives in Melbourne, and since there have been some bad fires in Victoria, recently, perhaps his time has been occupied by the fires. I'm hoping he's just taking a vacation!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote freddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2018 at 2:39am
Freddy is still here.  The fires were nowhere near me (Australia is a BIG place), and, no, I am not on vacation.

I have just been a little "out of the loop" for a while.  Moving offices at work, and lots of things that needed doing at home.  And, any spare time that I did manage to get was spent doing some ADE airport updates after purchasing ORBX's CityScene Gold Coast and CityScape Canberra.  My time has just been a little "consumed" lately.

I haven't read this thread yet.  So I won't comment at this time.  When I do get a chance, hopefully in the next day or so, I'll make an effort to bring myself up to speed and offer some input.

Watch this space ...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2018 at 12:12pm
Have come to the conclusion that, when TX generates the Random Traffic Business (RTB), not only does it only select the aircraft that have been user selected but, because it also needs an "airports.dat" file during the subsequent compile action, it has to be doing an airport selection based upon a criterion which seems to be based either on airfield/airport size or how busy it is already based upon the existing IFR schedules. I have no idea how it can do this but I think that this is about as far as I can get with this without some expert wisdom from elsewhere.
I thought that, in the past, I was always able to generate some RTB at most of the airfields/airports that I have used/modified but I may well be mistaken.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2018 at 3:13pm
Dan,

have you ever managed to get the SDK "TrafficDatabaseBuilder" program to work. Having now read the SDK notes several times and tried various combinations of the parameters, I cannot get it to create auto-generated schedules for a custom aircraft list together with the airports.dat dump from FSX.
Any ideas?

This is not a very serious attempt to create such a list and BGL but I hate to let something like this get the better of my small amount of computer intellect!
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote freddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2018 at 1:15am
OK ... here we go ...

The Traffic X airports.dat file is merely a text file. It can be edited in Notepad. I see you already know this. Entries which appear in this file, even using Traffic X to create schedules, make no sense to me with regards to parking spot sizes. As you have already pointed out, the list of spots in this file contains spots of sizes that do not exist at the airport. I have no idea what it is doing in regards to spot sizes ... however there is no need for concern here as I am often manually editing this file and INCREASING the spot sizes to bigger numbers. As an example, I have some C130 military cargo planes flying to a military airport. The airports.dat file sets the cargo size to be whatever number it chooses and, as a result, my cargo planes do NOT appear the airport. So I just manually edit the cargo spot sizes in the airports.dat file to be 40 and, voila, my cargo planes appear (note that I do not compile through the Traffic X interface, I do a manual compile. Using the Traffic X interface will cause the files to be "re-created" and will put the spot sizes in the airports.dat file BACK to what they were before I manually edited them).

With regards to why the program is not generating random business traffic for you at your airport, you may have some success if you use the SDK to create an "FSX Airport Dump File". Then go in to Traffic X, to the Airport Information screen, and use the "Import New" button to import the airports. This will ensure that all of the necessary files are in place, within Traffic X, and they will have the correct parameters etc for the program to be able to generate the traffic.

I have never used the Traffic Database Builder program for the purposes of generating random traffic. However, I do use the files given to me by Traffic X to generate my traffic. What I mean by this is that I manually edit the files that are in the C:\...\Flight Simulator X\JustFlight\TrafficX\Presets\Data\Schedules\Compiler" folder and then I manually run the "_compile.bat" file. As I mentioned above, using the Traffic X interface will overwrite my manual edits ... but running the "_compile.bat" file does not.

On the subject of the "_compile.bat" file, open that up and have a look at it. It will give you some good clues about how to use the Traffic Database Builder program manually. I have even edited the "_compile.bat" before and had it create different .BGL filenames, amongst other things. A useful trick is to COPY the contents of the Traffic X Compiler folder to a separate location on your computer, manually edit the "_compile.bat" file, and use it in this way to generate your .BGLs.

Here are some additional notes that I wrote ages ago to do with the Random Traffic generation if you use it within the Traffic X program itself (ie, if you use Traffic X to do the generation as opposed to editing and doing things manually). This information mentioned the FSX default King Air aircraft. As I recall, I couldn't get that aircraft to appear as a business aircraft in the lists ... and thus began an investigation. These notes are the results of what I found ...


=======================

For an aircraft to appear on the Traffic X Traffic Generator screen, it's IFR% on the Fleet Database screen must be set correctly (see below).

The Beech King Air 350 aircraft, by default, is set with an IFR% of 75%. This value prevents it from appearing on the Traffic Generator screen.

To get the Beech King Air 350 aircraft (or any other aircraft) to appear on the Traffic Generator screen, in either the VFR aircraft column or the Business aircraft column, set its IFR% value to one of the following:

For VFR aircraft...IFR% of 50% or less on the Fleet Database screen. For Business aircraft...IFR% of 76% or higher on the Fleet Database screen.

Therefore, set the IFR% for the Beech King Air 350 to 76% or higher and it will appear in the Business aircraft column of the Traffic Generator screen. Set the IFR% for the Beech King Air 350 to 50% or lower and it will appear in the VFR column of the Traffic Generator screen. It's default value of 75% does not allow it to appear in either column (which is more than likely a bug in Traffic X where a line of code is possibly written as ">75" instead of ">=75".)

You can use the IFR% value on the Fleet Database screen to "move" aircraft from one column to the other simply by setting an appropriate value for their IFR%.

=======================

NOTE:

The Business aircraft column of the Traffic Generator screen generates IFR FLIGHTS ONLY. It does does NOT generate VFR flights. Therefore, even though the IFR% might be set to a value of 76%, it does not mean that 24% of flights generated from this screen will be VFR flights.

=======================

      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 11:27am
I have done some 'digging' into how TrafficX functions in my efforts to find out why the 'Random Traffic Business' seems not to work in the way I expect.
In the \compile folder the file _compile.bat is a version of the FSX SDK command used for creating and compiling AI traffic data files.

It comprises -
"trafficdatabasebuilder /output=traffic.bgl /airports=airports.dat /countries=countries_regions.csv /aircrafttypes=aircrafttypes.csv
/schedules=schedules.dat /log=log.txt /autoschedule=no /quiet=no"
To run this batch file in order to create a traffic.bgl file, the files airports.dat, countries_regions.csv, aircrafttypes.csv and
schedules.dat must already exist.
I have worked out that, when the "Compile Traffic X Flight Plans" button is selected, 4 of these files are created somehow (I do not know if it is done by internal Traffic X commands or done by a sub-version of the SDK command) -

"aircrafttypes.csv" - all aircraft types are extracted from whichever TCC files have been selected and a CSV file created using extra data from "aircrafttypes.tcc" in the \presets\data\aircraft folder,
"airports.dat" - all airport codes are extracted from whichever TCC files have been selected and a file created containing runway data for each code AND, for each type of aircraft that visits the code, adds 6 parking spots of the correct radius for that aircraft,
"schedules.dat" - all schedules listed in the selected TCC files are listed,
"log.txt" - not sure how this log gets created at this stage.
During the creation of these files, info is displayed in the TX window about which files are being processed. At the end of this process
there are brief messages "Writing aircraft" and "Writing airports".
When these have been created and the batch file runs, this is when the 'Command' DOS window appears. Whilst this is open, the
"traffic.bgl" file is being created.

"countries_regions.csv" is a fixed file which is required only when generating 'random' aircraft registrations whilst creating new TCC
files for VFR or Random Traffic Business.

Right, so having done that, I am actually no further into sorting out my original question re Random Traffic Business.

Freddy, as always, I welcome your input.

Some of the information above may explain some of the things you mentioned about the files being changed every time you 'TX compile'. I will look into using the compile command 'outside' of TX.

What I would like to achieve is the random generation of business traffic but 'outside' of TX as you are doing for your compilations.
I can get the "airports.dat" file from FSX and I can generate the "aircrafttypes.csv" (containing only >76% aircraft) using TX but I cannot 'see' how to set up the 'Options' in the SDK command that will produce a BGL of a type that TX can produce when you create a "TX_Biz.tcc" file and subsequently compile.
It will have something to do with the "/autoschedule=yes/no" option but, as yet, I cannot achieve any success. The official SDK notes on how to use this command is very poor on substance!

Will have a rest now - the 'headaches' are coming thick and fast. (If this causes any reader to get the same headaches then please don't spend too much time looking at this topic!)
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2018 at 11:07am
It's too bad that the SDK documentation tells us so little about how the TrafficDatabaseBuilder automatically schedules aircraft and routes when AutoSchedule=yes.

We also don't know what criteria is used by the density slider in Traffic X's Traffic Generator to filter the TrafficDatabaseBuilder's traffic density.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote freddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2018 at 3:54am
I would simply blindly follow the SDK documentation and start here:

----------------------

To Build a Traffic Database using the Default Aircraft and Default Airports

Type the following command:

TrafficDatabaseBuilder /Airports=fs10.Airports.dat /AircraftTypes=fs10.AircraftTypes.csv /Output=traffic.bgl

----------------------

Notice that nowhere does this mention /autoschedule

I would take a backup copy of your current AI traffic files, and then simply run the exact command as shown above. See what it does.

If you want logs, then add the /log=log.txt parameter. In fact, I'd probably recommend you do a log because it will give clues as to what happened when you ran the command.

Doing this might yield some clues. Start with this, and then add parameters to see what each one does.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Soaranden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2018 at 11:04pm
Here's a posting that states that the Traffic Toolkit documentation is partially incorrect: Using TrafficDatabaseBuilder SDK

It's also worth noting that TrafficDatabaseBuilder.exe displays command line help if you run it with no command line arguments. Doing so shows AutoSchedule to be an optional parameter that defaults to "yes."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2018 at 1:52pm
Dan,
yes I had already found that post - it is a pity that PJK did not tell us how far he got with using the TrafficDataBaseBuilder program on any successful basis. I am going to post in the same Forum to see if anyone else has had any success. PJK is no longer listed in the members list so not sure if anyone will respond.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2018 at 2:16pm
Freddy,

I have been trying to get TDBB to do what it suggests it will do but with no joy so far.
I use the airports dump from FSX and the limited aircraft file generated by Traffic X when you compile TX_Biz.tcc.
As you suggested, I copied the files out to a new folder and run the batch file from there.
Still got a few more options to try when I get the time.

Note that if you do not include autoschedule the program assumes autoschedule=yes which I guess means that TDBB will generate some traffic? If you say autoschedule=no then the schedules= option has to be specified - this is for compiling any existing schedule text format file.
A long time FSXA and Traffic X user
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