Freight and Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool (FTOT)

Public Version of the Freight and Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool

View the Project on GitHub VolpeUSDOT/FTOT-Public

Note: FTOT’s Quick Start and Reference Scenario datasets include several ready-to-use example scenarios and input files. See Documentation and Scenario Datasets for the latest scenario and documentation files.

The FTOT User Guide documentation contains details on how to set up an FTOT scenario. The reference scenarios include examples of how to configure different FTOT features and can serve as templates for creating required and optional input files and scenario configuration. Sections of this documentation have been excerpted below for user convenience; see full documentation for further details.

Getting Started

Each unique FTOT scenario requires a batch (.bat) file, a scenario XML file, and an input_data directory with the relevant facility-commodity input CSV files. To ensure you have all necessary files to run a new FTOT scenario, the user can

  1. Copy over a Quick Start or Reference Scenario folder based on the intended supply chain structure of the user’s FTOT scenario, and then
  2. Customize the starter files according to the user’s specific scenario needs.

For example, use files from Quick Start 2 for a scenario where freight flows from a raw material producer (rmp) to a processor (proc) to a destination (dest); use Reference Scenario 2 as a template for a candidate processor generation scenario. To then adapt the starter scenario, the user will need to update the scenario XML at a minimum. See the Checklist of Critical Items to Update section below for the minimum set of items to edit. Most custom scenarios will also require creating new facility-level GIS data and supply chain data (e.g., facility-commodity CSV files). Finally, customization of the scenario’s batch file will also be necessary. See the FTOT User Guide for more details. An introductory video for how to create a custom FTOT scenario is also available on the FTOT landing page.

Checklist of Critical Items to Update

Batch file

Scenario XML file

Other optional items to update:

Updating FTOT Scenarios from Older Release Versions

The FTOT team often introduces optional XML elements as new features are added to FTOT, so older versions of Quick Start and Reference Scenario XML files may not have all available scenario elements. The quickest way to update an existing, older scenario is to manually add any additional elements needed. For reference, the master XML template saved at C:/FTOT/program/lib/v7_temp_Scenario.xml contains all required and optional XML elements.

When updating the XML, the user does NOT need to include any comments from the original XML or in the template XML, but the elements do need to be in the same order as seen in the template.

Tools for Updating XML Files

Several tools can help the user efficiently and thoroughly update their new scenario XML (and to a lesser extent, the batch files). Text file comparisons can help the user recognize items that still need updating. Consider comparing new scenario files to the following:

Listed below are just a few tools to update scenario files:

Facility Location GIS Data

FTOT requires GIS-based input datasets containing the facility names and locations of raw material producers (rmp), processors (proc), and destinations (dest). There are many sources of GIS data an FTOT user can leverage to represent the locations of a scenario’s facilities. FTOT comes with one preexisting facility location geodatabase included in FTOT’s common data subdirectory–point-based representations of every county in the United States. If FTOT was installed in the default location, the county-based facility location geodatabase is stored in the following location: C:\FTOT\scenarios\common_data\facilities\counties.gdb. Users basing facility locations on the default data that come packaged with FTOT do not need to move or copy over those data into a new scenario directory; they can continue to be read from their default location (in the C:/FTOT/scenarios/common_data/facilities sub-directory).

If the user wants to create their own customized facility location GIS data, refer to the FTOT User Guide.