2nd Annual POLARIS User Group (PUG) Workshop – May 15-17, 2024

The Vehicle and Mobility Systems (VMS) Department is proud to announce the 2nd Annual POLARIS User Group Workshop planned for May 15-17, 2024. The workshop brings together students, researchers, professors, planning agency staff, transit professionals, and state and federal entities at DOT and DOE for a three-full day series of presentations and training, sessions and breakout discussions on the development, use, and improvement of POLARIS – the DOE-funded agent-based transportation forecasting tool.

This year’s workshop is planned to be held at the UChicago Booth Gleacher Center in a classroom-style setting to accommodate a large audience while maintaining the interactive nature of the workshop. The key focus areas for the 2nd PUG workshop are the following:

  • Overview of POLARIS, the SMART workflow, and additional VMS department simulation capabilities
  • Recent advances in the POLARIS simulation framework & related tools:
    • Model building, use of open-source maps, and other openly available data
    • Updates to the shared mobility model, operator representation, and changes to demand model
    • Open-source Python-based POLARIS runtime and workflow management library, Polarislib, and its launch on PiPy.
    • Overview of documentation building efforts, and discussion on documentation requirements from attendees.
    • Multi-resolution modeling within same model run to capture macro, meso, and micro link-level traffic flows
  • Student research related to POLARIS in the areas of demand, electric vehicles, shared mobility, transit, and optimization.
  • Stakeholder experience in using or working with POLARIS and Autonomie


Attendance at the 2nd Annual PUG workshop requires every attendee to be registered. No fees are required to register and attend the workshop, however, on-time registration allows us to plan to host the attendees at the event appropriately.

Please register to attend the workshop using the following form no later than **April 15th**.

Call for Abstracts

VMS staff have planned several training sessions and presentations for the workshop. We are also inviting attendees to submit short abstracts for presentation at the workshop. Abstracts can cover the content of the proposed presentation, how it will be useful to the attendees, and who is the target audience. Abstracts must include a proposed presentation title, denote who the presenting author is, and suggest how much time will be needed in 15 min increments for the planned presentation.

Please submit the abstract using the following form no later than **April 15th**

Travel Honorarium Available for Students*

The Vehicle and Mobility Systems Department is making available a handful of travel honorariums if presenting at the workshop. Students in valid academic status are eligible for travel and accommodation reimbursements. Due to the limited availability of funds, students wishing to receive the travel honorarium are required to submit an abstract to enroll. Approval to receive the travel honorarium will be announced along with the abstract acceptance. Travel honorariums will be provided as a reimbursement and on the submission of receipts after the workshop.

*Restrictions apply.


Full Program Agenda available here: https://anl.box.com/s/mnnuwwkelbtn3qhpdpb3ma5k0qqygy6i


Address: 450 Cityfront Plaza Dr, Chicago, IL 60611

How to get there

From O’Hare: If planning to use transit, use the Blue line to reach the Grand stop and transfer to CTA bus 69. Get off at Illinois (Lower) & St. Clair and walk two short blocks south to reach the Gleacher Center.

From Midway: If planning to use transit, use the Orange line to reach the State/Lake stop in the Loop. A 13-min walk east on Lake, north on Michigan and east on a pedway on Pioneer Court should get you to the Gleacher Center.

Taxis are a popular option within the City of Chicago and can be price competitive with Uber/Lyft options, especially during the peak periods.

Suggestions for accommodation

Several options exist in the River North, Loop, and West Loop areas, across varying budgets. We recommend finding accommodation in River North and Loop for its close proximity to Gleacher Center and transit availability.

Important Dates

Event Date
Registration Closes April 15th, 2024
Abstract Submission Closes April 15th, 2024
Workshop Agenda Posted April 15th, 2024 April 23rd, 2024
Honoraria Decisions Made April 15th, 2024 April 30th, 2024
Workshop May 15-17th, 2024