Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Staff photo

Professor Ronghui Liu

Professor of Networks and Transport Operations / Director of International Activities

Phone: +44 (0)113 34 35338
Room: 2.05
Research Group: Spatial Modelling and Dynamics

Key Research Interests

·         Mathematical modelling, computer simulation and optimisation of transportation systems

·         Dynamic analysis and simulation of road, public transport (bus and metro), and railway systems

·         Traffic microsimulation and network modelling, DRACULA model development and application

·         Traffic signal design, optimization and evaluation

·         Public transport reliability analysis, real-time control methods

·         Train speed profile optimisation and railway timetabling

·         Train control and operations for ERTMS, Moving Block, Virtual Coupling

·         Weather impact and management response on transportation systems



Employment Histrory

  • Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (1994 - present)

  • Head of Transportation Modelling, Transportation Division, TRL, UK (June - July 2005, part-time split with ITS Leeds)

  • Research Fellow, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London (1991 - 1993)





Professional Engagements

Associate Editor. IET Journal of Intelligent Transport Systems (2017-date)

Member of Editorial Board, IET Journal of Intelligent Transport Systems (2014 - 2017)

Member of Editorial Board, IET Journal of Traffic and Transportation Engineering (2014 - date)

Associate Editor, IEEE Transaction on Intelligent Transportation Systems (2009 - 2016)

Guest Editor, Special Issue on Advances in Artificial Transportation Systems and Simulation, IEE-ITS, 2014.

Expert Evaluator for the EU Shift2Rail Undertaking, 2016 - date.

Expert Evaluator for the European Regional Development Fund and Education Development Agency, Latvia. 2017.

International Scientific/Organising Committee Memmber: ISTS&IWTDCS (Corsica, 2014; Matsuyama, 2018); IEEE-ITSC (Rio de Janeiro, 2016; Gran Canarias, 2015p; Qingdao, 2014); INFORMS Transportation and Logisitcs Society (Chicago, 2017); IEEE Conference on Service Operations and Logistics (Bari, 2017); Portuguese Artificial Conferences (Porto, 2017; Azores, 2013); IEEE Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation (Birmingham, 2016);


Key Research and Consultancy Awards

OptiYard - Optimised Real-Time Yard and Network Management. EU Shift2Rail (2017 - 2019), €1,499,900. Leeds PI.

ATO - Energy-Efficient Automatic Train Operation. Royal Academy of Engineering (2017 - 2019), £99,363. Leeds PI .

RAPPORT - Real-time Accurate Positioning and Protection of Rail Transport. Innovate UK (2017 - 2018), £305,506, Leeds PI

DITTO - Developing Integerated Tools for Optimized Railway Systems. RSSB (2014 - 2017), £905,000. Leeds PI

Network Rail Impact Acceleration Account, EPSRC (2015 - 2016), £45,560, PI.

NETMIS - Network Tools for Intervention Modelling in Sepsis. Technology Strategy Board (2013 - 2014), £346,800. Co-I.

Challenging Established Rules for Train Control Through a Fault Tolerance Approach. EPSRC and RSSB (2011 - 2014),  £337,600.  Leeds PI

Managed Motorway. Queenland University of Technology, Australia (04.2013), Au$6,000. Grant holder.

Modelling Motorway Merge Phase I: Empirical Study.  Highways England (12.2010 - 03.2011), with Jacobs Consultancy. Leeds PI.

TransEuropean Transport Network Planning Methodology. EU (10.2009 - 03.2010). 179,100. Co-I.

MULTITUTE European Cooperation in Science and Technology project to provide methods and tools for supporting the use, calibration, and validation of traffic simulation models. Co-I.

Guidance for modelling motorway merge. Department for Transport (2007 - 2008), £40,700. PI

A model to assess public transport reliability. EPSRC and Department for Transport (2003 - 2006).  PI.

International Incoming Short Visits Grant. Royal Society (2006), £1,480. PI

PROSPER - Project for Research on Speed Adaptation Policies on European Roads, EU (2002 - 2006). Co-I

A sustainable travel modal choice for Beijing - Phase II. Volvo Research Foundation (01.2016 - 12.2017). Leeds PI.

A sustainable travel modal choice for Beijing - Phase I. Funded by the VOLVO Research Foundation (01.2005 - 12.2005). Leeds PI.

Holders of consultancy contract from: Devon County Council and Parsons Brinckerhoff (2002); DHV Consultants (2001); URS Consultants (2000); York City Council (1999); and Atkins (1998)


PhD Students

I am interested in the dynamic modelling of complex systems (inherent in congested road, bus, or rail networks, and/or presented by transport policy interventions or future technological advances). The following are some of my recent research interests and I would be happy to discuss suitable PhD projects in these area: (See also

  • Road and public transport network reliability analysis
  • Motorway and urban traffic flow analysis and simulation
  • Modelling connected vehicles v2v and v2i communications
  • Noisy optimisation in transport
  • Traffic signal controls
  • Research in operational controls and traffic management for railway networks



On-going PhD projects

Naphat Ketphat: Operation Control for Train Virtual Coupling System.

Weiming Zhao: Modelling the Impact of Vehicle Automation and Communication Systems to Traffic Flow and Control.

Tianli Tang: Bus Schedule based on Meterological Impacts.

Mahmound Al-Khazaleh: Estimation Travel Time of Urban Roads using Bluetooth Data.

Ying Wang: Incorporating Weather Impact in Train Dispatching.

Tamas Nadudvari: Transit Assignment Models with Observed Journey Time and Superstaion Network Representation: an Application to the London Underground.

Joel Dodsworth: Devlopment of Traffic Signal Control Algorithms to Achieve Network Stability for Over-Saturated Traffic Conditions.


Completed PhD Projects

Andyka Kusuma: Modelling Driving Behaviour at Motorway Weaving Sections. 2015.

Qian Fu: Modelling Route Choice Behaviour with Incomplete Data: an Application to the London Underground. 2014.  Special Honourary Mention at University Transport studies Group Annual Conference 2014; Runner-up for the HKSTS Outstanding Student Paper Award at the Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies 2012.

Nurul Hidayati: The Impact of the School Safety Zone on Passenger Car Equivalent Values in Indonesian Urban Roads. 2013

Yaron Hollander: The Cost of Bus Travel Time Variability. 2007. Winner of the Neil Mansfield Award for the Best Paper by a Young Author, European Transport Conference 2005.

N C Balijepalli:  A Stochastic Process Model for Dynamic Traffic Assignment. 2006 (

Jiao Wang: A Merging Model for Motorway Traffic. 2006




Taught Masters Courses

Module leader for Principles of Transport Modelling.

Lecturer for Traffic Network Models 


Previous modules taught

Traffic Microsimulation Models.

Traffic Control Systems.

Modelling Traffic Pollution.

Traffic Data Collection and Analysis.

International Environmental Impact Assessment (Civil Engineering Masters).


CPD Short Courses

Traffic Microsimulation Models

Introduction to DRACULA

Introduction to SATURN

Intermediate SATURN




Book Chapters

  • May AD; Liu R; Shepherd S (2015) Road congestion, Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy, pp.112-133. doi: 10.4337/9780857937933.00013
  • Antoniou C; Casas J; Koutsopoulos H; Liu R (2014) Traffic Simulation and Data: Validation Methods and Applications; Chapter 7 - Validation, In: Daamen W; Buisson C; Hoogendoorn SP (Ed) Traffic Simulation and Data: Validation Methods and Applications, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Dargay J; Liu R (2010) Analysis of National Travel Survey Datasets, Concessionary Travel: The Research Papers, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, pp.165-200.
  • Liu R (2010) Traffic Simulation with DRACULA, In: Barceló J (Ed) Fundamentals of Traffic Simulation, Springer Verlag, pp.295-322.
  • Liu R; Wang J (2007) A general framework for the calibration and validation of car-following models along an uninterrupted open highway, In: Heydecker B (Ed) Mathematics in Transport, Elsevier, pp.111-124.
  • Rossetti R; Liu R (2005) Activity-based analysis of travel demand using cognitive agents, In: Timmermans H (Ed) Progress in Activity-Based Analysis, Elsevier, pp.139-160.
  • Rossetti R; Liu R (2005) A dynamic network simulation model based on multi-agent systems, In: Klügl F; Bazzan A; Ossowski S (Ed) Applications of Agent Technology in Traffic and Transportation, Birkhäuser, pp.181-192.
  • Hollander Y; Liu R (2005) Calibration of a traffic microsimulation model as a tool for estimating the level of travel time variability, In: Jaszkiewicz AEA (Ed) Advanced OR and AI Methods in Transportation, Advanced OR and AI Methods in Transportation, pp.523-527.
  • Rossetti R; Liu R (2005) Towards a multi-agent traffic simulation model, In: Klgl F; Bazzan A; Ossowski S (Ed) Whitestein Series in Software Agent Technologies, Springer, pp.pp.209.
  • Liu R (2005) The DRACULA dynamic network microsimulation model, In: Kitamura; Kuwahara (Ed) Simulation appraches in Transportation Analysis: Recent Advances and Challenges, Springer, pp.23-56.
  • Liu R (2001) Road Transport Management at the Turn of the Century, Science and Technology into the Next Millennium, Fu Dan University Press.
  • De Palmer A; Fontan C; Liu R (2001) Trip Timing and Chaining, Travel Behaviour Research: the Leading Edge, .
  • Liu R; Van Vliet D; Watling DP (1998) DRACULA - microscopic, day-to-day dynamic modelling of traffic assignment and simulation, In: Stephanedes YJ; Fillippi F (Ed) Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering, ASCE Press, New York, pp.444-448.
  • Liu R; Van Vliet D (1996) DRACULA - a dynamic microscopic model of road traffic, In: Zhang G (Ed) Theory and Applications of Traffic and Transportation Systems Engineering, ASCE Press, New York, pp.160-170.
  • Liu R; Pooley G (1992) Asymmetries in powerful radio sources, In: Roland; J; Sol; H; Pelletier; G (Ed) Extragalactic Radio Sources - From Beams to Jets, Cambridge University Press,, pp.285.


Conference Papers

  • Liu R (2011) Modelling motorway merge: the current practice in the UK and towards establishing general principles., .
  • Liu R; Li X (2011) Stability analysis of a multi-phase car-following model, .
  • Flötteröd G; Liu R (2011) Disaggregate path flow estimation in an iterated DTA microsimulation., .
  • Bonsall P; Liu R; Young W (2000) Ethical issues involved in the selection of values for safety-related behavioural parameters in traffic simulation models., .
  • Kusuma A; Liu R; Montgomery FO (2013) Gap acceptance behaviour in motorway weaving traffic, .
  • Liu R; Wang Y (2016) Scheduling and control algorithms for the enhancement of the robustness of a single-track railway system, .
  • Wang Y; Liu R; Kwan RSK (2018) Simultaneous Rerouting and Rescheduling on Rail Networks under Weather Impact, Proceedings of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 97th Annual Meeting .
  • Xu S; Liu T; Huang H; Liu R (2018) Urban spatial patterns in a monocentric city with car-owning and no-car-owning residents, Proceedings of the 21st International Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, HKSTS 2016 - Smart Transportation pp.346-353.
  • Xu SX; Liu R; Liu TL; Huang HJ (2017) Pareto-improving policies for an idealized two-zone city served by two congestible modes, Transportation Research Procedia 23, pp.531-550. doi: 10.1016/j.trpro.2017.05.030
  • Schmöcker JD; Sun W; Fonzone A; Liu R (2016) Bus bunching along a corridor served by two lines, Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 93, pp.300-317. doi: 10.1016/j.trb.2016.07.005
  • Liu R (2016) Simulation model of speed control for the moving-block systems under ERTMS Level 3, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation, ICIRT 2016 pp.322-327. doi: 10.1109/ICIRT.2016.7588750
  • Kusuma A; Liu R; Choudhury C (2016) Modelling the Effect of Lane-changing Mechanism in a Weaving Section, 2016 TRB Annual Meeting: Compendium of Papers .
  • SCHMÖCKER J-D; Sun W; Liu R; Fonzone A (2015) Bus bunching along a corridor served by two lines, .
  • Fonzone A; SCHMÖCKER J-D; Liu R (2015) A model of bus bunching under reliability based passenger arrival patterns., Transportation Research Procedia 7, pp.276-299.
  • Smith MJ; Liu R; Mounce R (2015) Traffic control and route choice; capacity maximization and stability, Transportation Research Procedia 7, pp.556-577.
  • Kusuma A; Liu R; Choudhury C; Montgomery F (2015) Lane-changing characteristics at weaving section, .
  • Nadudvari T; Liu R; Hess S (2015) Modelling passengers' route choice behaviour on the London Underground, .
  • Smith MJ; Liu R; Mounce R (2015) Traffic Control and Route Choice; Capacity Maximization and Stability, Transportation Research Procedia 7, pp.556-577. doi: 10.1016/j.trpro.2015.06.029
  • Fonzone A; Schmöcker JD; Liu R (2015) A Model of Bus Bunching under Reliability-based Passenger Arrival Patterns, Transportation Research Procedia 7, pp.276-299. doi: 10.1016/j.trpro.2015.06.015
  • Fu Q; Liu R; Hess S (2014) A Bayesian modelling framework for individual passengers� probabilistic route choices: A case study on the London Underground, 93rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. .
  • Abdullah K; Liu R; Pujol R (2014) Traffic hysteresis and macroscopic fundamenal relationships of a motorway network, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, HKSTS 2014 - Transportation and Infrastructure pp.331-338.
  • Fu Q; Liu R; Hess S (2012) On considering journey time variability and passengers’ path choice: An empirical study using Oyster card data on the London Underground, 5th International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability, Hong Kong .
  • Liu R; May T; Shepherd S (2011) On the fundamental diagram and supply curves for congested urban networks, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 17, pp.229-246. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.04.516
  • Liu R; Li X (2008) Stability of a Car-Following Model: An Engineering Analysis, .
  • Liu R; Sinha S (2007) Modelling urban bus service and passenger reliability., International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability, The Hague, July 2007 .
  • Sorratini JA; Liu R; Sinha S (2005) Assessing bus transport regularity using micro-simulation, 1, pp.669-679.
  • Sorratini JA; Liu R; Sinha S (2005) Assessing bus transport reliability using micro-simulation, 1, pp.1-13.
  • Hills PJ; Liu R; May AD; Schmoecker J; Shepherd SP (2003) Characterising congestion on urban road networks, In: Park C-H (Ed) Proceedings of the 9th World Conference on Transport Research 2, .
  • Liu RH; Bonsall P; Young W (2002) Issues involved in choosing values for safety-related behavioural parameters in traffic simulation models, In: Wang KCP; Xiao GP; Yang H; Nie L (Ed) TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION STUDIES, VOLS 1 AND 2, PROCEEDINGS pp.1124-1131.
  • Hills P; Schmocker JD; Liu R; May AD; Shepherd SP (2001) CHARACTERISING CONGESTION ON URBAN ROAD NETWORKS, In: Elsevier (Ed) .
  • Rossetti R; Bampi S; Liu R; Van Vliet D; Cybis H (2000) Representing drivers' behaviour using an agent-based approach, None pp.45-50.
  • Liu R; Silva J (2000) A microsimulation model of pedestrian crossing behaviour and pedestrian responsive traffic signal control, International Association of Travel Behaviour Research Conference, July, Goad Coast .
  • Liu R; Tate JE (1999) Simulation modelling of external vehicle speed control systems, 31st Annual Conference of the Universities Transport Studies Group, University of York .
  • Montecino R; Liu R; Milne D (1998) The impacts of variability of the performance of congestion road pricing systems, .

Other Publications

  • Liu R (1999) DRACULA traffic simulation model. A user guide, 407, .
  • Liu R (1999) Public transport priority measures and guided bus in DRACULA, .
  • Liu R; Watling DP; Timms PM (1997) A calibration manual for DRACULA,. ITS Working Paper, ITS Working Paper, 478, .
  • Liu R (1996) Pollution modelling in DRACULA, 403, .
  • Liu R (1996) Roundabout simulation in DRACULA, 414, .

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