Sumo Ambassador Implementation

The Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO) simulator is an open source microscopic, multi-modal traf- fic simulation package which is developed by the Institute of Transportation research at the German Aerospace Centre. It is designed to handle large road networks faster than real-time. Each vehicle has an own route and is simulated individually. To simulate the movements of the vehicles on the network, a model is used that uses discrete time steps of e.g. 1 s. Thousands of vehicles can be simulated in real time on a desktop PC, including simulation of traffic lights, right-of-way rules, and lane changing models. Simulations can either run via the command line or are visualized using the openGL-API (SUMO-GUI). SUMO networks are created by importing other formats, such as OpenStreetMap data, Shapefiles or TIGE-maps; or by generating artificial networks. Furthermore, vehicle routes, based on different routing paradigms, can be computed.

SUMO and Eclipse MOSAIC

We have integrated the traffic simulator SUMO to be able to simulate heterogeneous driving vehicles and a set of vehicles that have a predefined routes based on an imported roadmap. Additionally, during the runtime of a simulation, it is possible that routes of simulated vehicles are changed and that vehicle positions are extracted at arbitrary points in time. The integration of SUMO into a Eclipse MOSAIC based simulation is illustrated in the following figure. The integrated Traffic Control Interface (TraCI) Server offers an interface to exchange commands and positions using a socket interface with a proprietary byte protocol. Analogous to the TraCI Server, a TraCI Client is implemented that is integrated in an ambassador implementing the TraCI protocol. Therefore, SUMO can be integrated without modifications.

SUMO connected to Eclipse MOSAIC

During a simulation run, per default SUMO is paused and TraCI is listening for commands. After each advanced time grant, SUMO offers the new vehicle positions which are broadcast by its ambassador to other federates. Furthermore, if the ambassador receives a request to change the route of a specific vehicle, it is forwarded to SUMO. Thus, at the next time-advancement, the new route is integrated.

Simulation of Vehicles

For each vehicle which has been defined in the mapping configuration, a VehicleRegistration interaction is sent to the SumoAmbassador which adds those vehicles to the simulation via TraCI. Furthermore, vehicle data is subscribed which is updated with every simulation step. After each step of the simulation this data is bundled into a VehicleInfo object which is distributed among other ambassadors within the VehicleUpdates interaction. The following data is available for each vehicle:

  • Position
  • Speed, Acceleration, Heading, Slope
  • State of vehicle signals (e.g. turn indicators)
  • Emission dispersion (CO2, NOX, etc.)
  • Fuel consumption
  • Information about the road the vehicle is driving on (road position)
  • Id of the route

Traffic lights in SUMO

Depending on which light is active (red, yellow or green), every traffic light got different phases. In theory, any combination of dis- or enabled lights is possible, but SUMO only handles combinations which make sense. In SUMOs traffic light concept every traffic light got a bitset of the status of each phase. Every bitset is a combination as mentioned above. When a car approaches a junction, it gets the actual bitset (combination) of the traffic light. To explain the code, an example is given:

<tl-logic type="static">
    <subkey>my program</subkey>
    <phase duration="31" state="GGggrrrrGGggrrrr"/>
    <phase duration="5" state="yyggrrrryyggrrrr"/>
    <phase duration="6" state="rrGGrrrrrrGGrrrr"/>
    <phase duration="5" state="rryyrrrrrryyrrrr"/>
    <phase duration="31" state="rrrrGGggrrrrGGgg"/>
    <phase duration="5" state="rrrryyggrrrryygg"/>
    <phase duration="6" state="rrrrrrGGrrrrrrGG"/>
    <phase duration="5" state="rrrrrryyrrrrrryy"/>

This example shows the traffic light program of one junction. It shows the different status’ of each light of each traffic signal, which are positioned on the junction. In this example every string of a phase e.g. “GGggrrrrGGggrrrr” (first phase) got 16 characters. Every char stands for one light on the junction. On this junction are four traffic lights with four signals each. To understand the different status of each light in one period (8 phases) the program should be read from top to the bottom. It is possible to change or create your own program by editing the .net file with the tool Netedit.

Handling of traffic lights in Eclipse MOSAIC

After the TraCI connection has been established, all available traffic light groups are read out of SUMO via TraCI. This information is packed into the three classes TrafficLightGroup, TrafficLightSignal, and TrafficLightPhase. While a traffic light group contains a list of signals which control one intersec- tion (which can consist of several nodes), a list of all existing traffic light groups is sent to the RTI via a ScenarioTrafficLightRegistration interaction.

TraCI Client Implementation

The SumoAmbassador communicates with the federate (SUMO process) via TraCI. In this socket based communication protocol, the server (SUMO) listens to commands and responds accordingly.

Each message send to SUMO consist of a header and the command or result message, according to the following scheme:

 0                7 8                15
| Message Length including this header |
|      (Message Length, continued)     |
+--------------------------------------+  \
|      Length      |    Identifier     |  |
+--------------------------------------+   > Command / Result_0
|      Command / Result_0 content      |  |
+--------------------------------------+  /
+--------------------------------------+  \
|      Length      |    Identifier     |  |
+--------------------------------------+   > Command / Result_n -1
|     Command / Result_n-1 content     |  |
+--------------------------------------+  /

A more detailed description can be found here:


Each TraCI command is identified by an command identifier. For example, the command 0xC4 is used to change the state of a vehicle. Most of the commands need further specification, such as the parameter of the vehicle which is required to be changed. Those parameters are usually accessed by variable identifiers (e.g. 0x40 addresses the speed of an entity). A full list of commands and variables supported by TraCI can be found here:

Here is an example of a command message to change the speed of the vehicle “veh_0” to 14m/s:

 0                 7 8                 15                23 24               31
|                             25 (Message length)                             |
|    21 (Length)    |  0xC4 (Command)  |   0x40 (Variable) |       
             5 (String length as 4 Byte Integer)           |        "v"       |
|        "e"        |        "h"       |        "_"        |        "0"       |
| 0x0B (Double type)|                   40.0 (8 Byte Double) 


In the TraCI client implementation of the SumoAmbassador, the whole construction of messages is done in the class AbstractTraciCommand. The message header containing the message and command lengths is constructed automatically as well as all parameters defined by the specific command. To achieve this, each class which extends the AbstractTraciCommand needs to define the command, the variable and all parameters which are required for the specific command:

protected VehicleSetSpeed() {

        .command(0xC4)                // = change vehicle state
        .variable(0x04)               // = set speed of entity
        .writeStringParam()           // = vehicle id
        .writeDoubleParamWithType();  // = speed value

This example shows the command implementation for setting the speed for a vehicle. In the constructor, the write methods provides a builder-like construct allowing to define the command, the variable, and all parameters which are later passed dynamically to the command. Here, the command is specified as 0xC4 (= change vehicle state) and the variable as 0x04 (= speed of the entity). Furthermore, two parameters are defined: The first string parameter represents the ID of the vehicle, the second double parameter defines the speed value to be set (according to ). Note, the order of the specified command contents is from crucial importance. E.g. the command must always be specified before the variable, and the variable before all parameters.

All parameters defined in the constructor (here: [String, Double] ), need to be assigned with values as soon as the command is executed. For this purpose, the command implementation needs to call the method execute of the super class with the parameter values in the specified order:

public void setSpeed(Bridge bridge, String vehicleId, double speedValue) {
    super.execute(bridge, vehicleId, value);

Within the execute method, the AbstractTraciCommand constructs the whole message and sends it to the TraCI server (SUMO). Furthermore, the AbstractTraciCommand also reads the response, extracts the status of the response (successful or error) and reads all values returned by the server. Usually, commands which changes the state of an entity only (like VehicleSetSpeed) do not respond with complex results. However, a command which wants to retrieve a value of an entity needs to read out the result from the response (e.g. VehicleGetRouteId which returns the current route identifier of the vehicle). For this purpose, each command needs to specify how the response should be handled:

protected VehicleGetRouteId() {

        .command(0xA4)      // = retrieve vehicle state
        .variable(0x53)     // = route id of entity
        .writeStringParam(); // = write vehicle id

        .skipBytes(2)          // = skip command and variable in response
        .skipString()          // = skip vehicle id, not relevant
        .readStringWithType(); // = read route id

This example shows the command implementation for getting the route id of a vehicle. As well as write, the method read returns a builder-like construct which provides methods to define how the response is handled. Here, the first two bytes of the response should be skipped, as well as the string which follows afterwards. The value the command is interested in is the following string value which holds the id of the route. By using the method readStringWithType the string is read out and is passed to the method constructResult which needs to be implemented by the command as well:

public String getRouteId(Bridge bridge, String vehicle) {
    return super.executeAndReturn(bridge, vehicle);

protected String constructResult(Status status, Object... objects) { 
    return (String) objects[0];

In this simple case, the result of the command consists of one result object only (the route id). Therefore, it is just extracted from the array of result objects and directly returned.

Writing parameters

In order to write parameters and read results according to the specification of the protocol, several reader and writer implementations exist. For parameters to be written in the command various writers exists to write single bytes, strings, integers, and doubles, or special writers for writing lists. The same is for readers.

In the following example, the IntegerTraciWriter is shown:

public class IntegerTraciWriter extends AbstractTraciParameterWriter<Integer> {

    public IntegerTraciWriter() {

    public IntegerTraciWriter(int value) {
        super(4, value); 

    public int getVariableLength(Integer argument) {
        return getLength();

    public void write(DataOutputStream out) throws IOException {

    public void writeVariableArgument(DataOutputStream out, Integer argument) {

Each writer has two tasks. Firstly, it needs to determine the length of the parameter value. For example, an integer parameter is always 4 bytes long, whereas the length of a string parameter depends on the size of the argument. Therefore, each writer needs to be able to determine the variable length according to a given value. Secondly, it needs to write out the actual value into the DataOutputStream (which represents the channel to the TraCI server). Furthermore is each writer able to write fixed values, such as the command identifier which does not change, or variable arguments, such as the vehicle id.

Reading results

In the following example, the IntegerTraciReader is shown:

public class IntegerTraciReader extends AbstractTraciResultReader<Integer> {

    public IntegerTraciReader() {

    public IntegerTraciReader(Matcher<Integer> matcher) {

    protected Integer readFromStream(DataInputStream in) throws IOException {
        return readInt(in);

A reader has three tasks. Firstly, it reads out a value from the DataInputStream (which represents the response channel to the TraCI client) according to the protocol specification. For example, an integer can be read out directly, while a string requires several single reading operations. Secondly, the reader needs to take track of the number of bytes it has read in total. To achieve this it is recommended to use the provided methods of the super class, such as readInt, readString, or readByte .However, if values need to be read directly from the DataInputStream, the protected field numBytesRead must always be increased accordingly. Thirdly, the reader needs to define if the read out value fulfils certain requirements. Such requirement can be, that a certain value is expected. In this case, a matcher might be passed to the super constructor.

Accessing the commands

For each command, only one object should be instantiated during runtime. To achieve this, the CommandRegister is used. This class stores a command once it is created returns only one instance per command class:

final RouteAdd routeAddCommand = commandRegister.getOrCreate(RouteAdd.class);
//... do something

However, commands should not be accessed directly in the code, but rather using the various facades available:

  • RouteFacade - Route specific command calls, such as addRoute and getRouteEdges .
  • SimulationFacade - Provides methods to control the simulation, such as simulateStep .
  • TrafficLightFacade - Provides methods to get or set values for traffic lights.
  • VehicleFacade - Provides methods to get or set values for vehicles. All those facades can be accessed via the TraciClientBridge.

Exception handling

Exceptions are thrown and handled as following:

  • If a command results in a status response with the status code Error, a TraciCommandException is thrown. If this exception is thrown, the TraCI connection is still alive and can be used for further commands. The facades decide how to handle this exception then and may throw an InternalFederateException or log a warning message.

  • If a command could not be written properly, or the result could not be read out as wished, an InternalFederateException is thrown and an Emergency Exit is initiated, which eventually shuts down the TraCI connection. This also happens if a reader or writer throws any kind of Exception.

Version handling

With future releases of SUMO new TraCI commands will emerge. To achieve downward compatibility each command can define the lowest TraCI Version it supports. For example, a command which was introduced with SUMO 0.30.0 and is annotated accordingly, would be skipped automatically if the version of the TraCI server is lower. However, this concept has not been tested yet properly.

LibSumo Coupling Implementation

Next to the coupling implementation using TraCI, there is a second implementation integrating LibSumo via Java Native Interface (JNI). It is possible to easily switch the coupling method using either TraciClientBridge, or LibSumoBridge as the Bridge implementation. This replaces all commands to get or set values in the SUMO simulation. The CommandRegister is either initialized using the "libsumo" or "traci" package to load the command implementations. All the Facades (SimulationFacade, VehicleFacade etc.) which contain all the actual “business” logic, remain untouched.

The introduction of new commands requires the implementation of these three items:

  • Interface in org.eclipse.mosaic.fed.sumo.bridge.api package
  • Implementation of TraCI command in package org.eclipse.mosaic.fed.sumo.bridge.traci
  • Implementation of LibSumo command in package org.eclipse.mosaic.fed.sumo.bridge.libsumo

All the code in the facades should always work with the interfaces from the org.eclipse.mosaic.fed.sumo.bridge.api package.

Implementations of LibSumo and TraCI coupling.