4. The AequilibraE project

Similarly to commercial packages, AequilibraE is moving towards having the majority of a model residing inside a single file. This change is motivated by the fact that it is easier to develop and maintain documentation for models if they are kept in a format that favors data integrity and that supports a variety of data types and uses.

The chosen format for AequilibraE is SQLite, with all the GIS capability supported by SpatiaLite. Their impressive performance, portability, self containment and open-source character of these two pieces of software, along with their large user base and wide industry support make them solid options to be AequilibraE’s data backend. Since working with Spatialite is not just a matter of pip installing a package, please refer to Dependencies.


This portion of AequilibraE is under intense development, and important changes to the project structure and the API should be expected until at least version 0.7. Versions 0.8 and beyond should see a much more stable API

4.1. Data consistency

One of the key characteristics of any modelling platform is the ability of the supporting software to maintain internal data consistency. Network data consistency is surely the most critical and complex aspect of overall data consistency, which has been introduced in the AequilibraE framework with TranspoNET, where Andrew O’Brien implemented link-node consistency infrastructure in the form of spatialite triggers.

Further data consistency, especially for tabular data, is also necessary, however, and it is being slowly introduced in the AequilibraE project in the form of database triggers and user-triggered consistency checks through the API.

All consistency triggers/procedures will be discussed in parallel with the features they implement.

4.2. Project organization

Along with the Sqlite file that is the base for the AequilibraE project, other data such as documentation and binary matrices (OMX or AEM) do not fit nicely into a database structure, and therefore are stored in the file system in parallel with the Sqlite Project in a folder with the same name.

For now, AequilibraE only supports one network per project file, as everything related to network names is hard-coded, and the work of re-factoring it would be substantial. However, there is nothing in the SQLite architecture that prevents housing an arbitrarily large number of networks within the same file.

4.3. Project file components

A number of elements are already default in the AequilibraE project, while others are still being developed. The components that are currently part of the AequilibraE project are:

4.3.1. Network

Given the complexity of the Network tables, a dedicated documentation page has been created to discuss their implementation in Network.

4.3.2. Configuration tables

Many tables with information on the models (demographics, modes, metadata, etc.) are expected to exist, and this section will have the description of those tables as they are created. Modes table

The modes table exists to list all the modes available in the model’s network, and its main role is to support the creation of graphs directly from the SQLite project.

The modes table has three fields, being the mode_name, description and mode_id, where mode_id is a single letter that is used to codify mode permissions in the network, as further discussed in Network.

An example of what the contents of the mode table look like is below:

Link examples

4.3.3. Summary of project tables

The tables that are currently part of the AequilibraE project are the following:

  • links

  • nodes

  • modes

4.4. Project API

The project API is still not particularly powerful, and most of the procedures that exist within AequilibraE are not integrated with the project format. However, as each feature is made compatible with AequilibraE Project, the examples provided will be updated. For now, all the examples can be found under Project module.