The Honours Project Outline.

This is the next 10 months of my life:

Traffic Simulation


To construct a real time three dimensional simulation of congested traffic flows in Java and to test various ideas surrounding the build up of congestion.

Such tests may include but are not limited to:

  • Testing various algorithms for effectively navigating already congested traffic in the shortest amount of time
  • Testing algorithms to determine the best approach to reduce the build up of congestion
  • Investigating the impact of various events such as an accident, construction of a new road or lane on the amount of congestion in the model.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Project constructed in object orientated and model-view-controller code in Java
  • Use of Open GL or other three dimensional rendering tools
  • Interactive GUI allowing end user to construct traffic model
  • Ability to import satellite images in standard JPEG format to be used as ground textures.
  • Road network data structure to be based on Graph Theory
  • Cars implemented as artificial intelligence agents with real world physical control models, collision detection and awareness, environmental awareness.
  • Ability to perform controlled tests on simulation, including testing of algorithms for avoiding congestion once built up, algorithms for avoiding congestion build up, and impacts on varying road network design and events on traffic flows.
  • Ability to extract data and results from the model.

Planned Project Timeline:

  • February
    • Project planning
    • Initial prototyping and skeleton of code class layouts.
    • Skelton of thesis written in Latex.
  • March
    • Research into existing traffic simulation, causes of congestion, real life techniques for reducing congestion, and other relevant topics.
    • Coding of basic 3D GUI controls and viewers.
    • Thesis introduction written
  • April
    • Research and design of various tests to be performed on traffic simulator.
    • Coding of road network design controls.
    • Results of research written into thesis.
  • May
    • Review of possible tests and design of artificial intelligence controls to implement tests.
    • Coding of simulator controls and agents/cars on network.
    • Testing ideas written into thesis.
  • June
    • Correct realistic implementation of cars and interactions with road network within simulator.
    • GUI ideas written into thesis.
  • July
    • Implementation of initial tests on simulator.
    • Simulation controls written into thesis.
  • August
    • Review of results of simulator with expected outcomes and possible real world examples for validity, recoding of artificial intelligence controls if mistakes are discovered.
    • Summary of initial tests written into thesis.
  • September
    • Second set of tests on simulator, either the corrected versions of the initial tests or new tests developed as a result of initial tests.
    • Summary of second round of tests written into thesis.
  • October
    • Conclusions and review of thesis made.
    • Review of final version of thesis.
  • November
    • Thesis due on 11th.

Two and a Half Days in Melbourne

Ha ha ha and ho ho ho and a merry old land of OZ.


  • Got up at 2am to head to airport to check in for flight.
  • Arrived at Auckland Airport at 3.30am, checked in.
  • Departed Auckland at 6.10am
  • Flight was extremely bumpy, for the first time ever got Motion Sickness two and a half hours into the flight… so did lots of other people on the plane including an air hostess.
  • Landed 20 minutes early at 7.50am
  • Got on bus into Melbourne Central, arrived at Southern Cross Station.
  • Walked to hotel, stopped at Mc Donalds for breakfast, checked into hotel.
  • Went for a walk to look at town, found Federation Square, watched street perfomer, met up with friend.
  • Went on tramp ride around the city
  • Went on river cruise down the Yarra
  • Went back to hotel at 4pm, fell asleep while mum went shopping
  • Got woken by mum at 7pm, went out for dinner
  • Got back to hotel, watched Sky News
  • Went zzz


  • Mum set alarm for 7am, she woke to me cursing at it.
  • Had breakfast at Hotel, was really busy, lots of hungry hungry hippos.. people.
  • Caught tram to Vibration Training place.
  • Caught train to Dandenong
  • Visited friends house
  • Got driven to Sunnyvale
  • Checked out these awesome Asian supermarkets… Think St Lukes but all Asian, had a sugar cane drink
  • Got driven back to Caulfield
  • Caught train back to city, got off at Parliament Underground Station not 100% sure where we were.
  • Went shopping
  • Caught tram to St Kilda beach
  • Had dinner at St Kilda beach
  • Caught tram back to town, which went on train tracks as well as roads… so cool.
  • Watched Sky News and the 20/20 Cricket
  • Went zzz


  • Woke at 5am
  • Caught 5.45am tram to Southern Cross Station
  • Caught 6.15am bus to Airport
  • Checked in went shopping!!!
  • Flew back to Auckland at 9.25am
  • Landed in Auckland at 2.45pm
  • Mum went shopping again.
  • Got through customs just before 4pm.

Thoughts on McDonalds

Does anyone else find it ironic that McDonalds can see a global increase of 7% in customers over the last twelve months but at the same time cannot afford to increase their workers wages by 50c keeping them on the minimum poverty wage?

Is anyone else able see through the PR spin and spot the irony and the hypocracy in their statements. Just proof that poverty wage are paid in New Zealand by a profit loving multinational.

I doubt they will cease to build new Restuarants and if they did it is a good thing, the less fat making fast food places the better. Bring on more Subways and Burger Fuels.

High School Reunion

I went to a high school reunion last night for people from my year organised by some of the other students in my year.

It was an interesting experience. All of us have not been together since November 2004. That is four years, four months ago.

About 40 people showed up from around 400 people in my year, but it was pouring with rain so many people stayed away.

It was weird not really knowing anyone. I recognised about five people immediately and kinda remembered another 10 or so, but there were so many people who I just had no recognition of.

I guess that is partly a response of going to a university where only two other students from my year went to. So I had to change my social circles very quickly.

The start of the night was interesting with everyone standing around in a kinda large circle, but after an hour or so groups kinda formed just like those people who hung out at school, you kinda had the geeks club, the Indian club, the cool peoples club, it was quite funny. Time can’t change everything.

Also I was kinda glad that I wasn’t out geeked, there was only one other person there also about to start their honours, it seems everyone who is still studying had taken a gap year somewhere.

Thoughts on Auckland’s Power Supply

In 1998 the Auckland CBD lost power for two weeks and had continualled rolling outages for a further six weeks after three cables supplying power to the city all failed in Unison.

In 2007 there was another massive power outage after strong winds took down one power pylon cable and crippled the entire city’s supply.

Now in 2009 we have three transformers fail in unsion and knock out a large proprotion of the city.

More than a decade after the first major incident of this type it still fails me how the same scenario is repeating on a semi regular basis. Surely something as vital as power should be built with redundant supply lines.

Only in NZ?