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Computer-aided training for transport planners: Experience with the pluto package

Computers & Education Volume 25, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


PLUTO is a menu driven forecasting model of a hypothetical city. It allows users to explore the consequences of adopting a given set of land use and transport policies over a number of years and provides them with a wide range of output indicators against which to assess their performance. The underlying model is fairly complex and incorporates the main processes affecting the real-life evolution of transport systems. Nevertheless, it produces its forecasts within a few seconds. PLUTO has been used as part of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Civil Engineering and Transport Planning in the U.K. and overseas and has been at the heart of short courses and seminars/workshops for practising engineers, planners and politicians in the U.K., Hong Kong and Australia. The paper describes the PLUTO model and explains how it is used in a training context, with particular emphasis on four issues: (1) The appropriate balance between realism and simplification in training exercises,(2) The design of the user interface including the pros and cons of menu vs window formats and the enduring role of hard copy output;(3) The comparative advantages of group and solo working;(4) Factors affecting the decision to develop a fully computerized course.


Bonsall, P.W. (1995). Computer-aided training for transport planners: Experience with the pluto package. Computers & Education, 25(1), 41-52. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 21, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on February 1, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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