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Heuristic is a term used in A*, a known algorithm for pathfinding. Google for A Star or A* and you'll find tons of reference
the manhattan distance is quite ok for a 4-arity graph based on a grid, but I think SC4 use a 8-arity graph as diagonal paths are allowed
First off, the conventional wisdom of "higher heuristic = less CPU/RAM, lower = more CPU/RAM" is true only in a very general sense.
Keep in mind that back in 2002, computers were most likely running 1Ghz processors with 128-256MB of RAM. When you reach 3Ghz and 1GB worth of RAM, I doubt that CPU/RAM requirement for pathfinding would matter so much anymore. There's probably a point in the A* graph where that becomes irrelevant (CPU speed vs. accuracy). With the advent of dual-core processors, this definitely would not matter, since one CPU can be dedicated to just running the game, and the other one is used for running other Windows processes, meaning no other variables would interfere with the processing of routes.
@jplumbley: Had a look at the file you posted. One important point: Never let the speed of a network drop to zero with congestion. It can trap Sims coming in from off-map with no way to route around the blockage, and there's no way to convey that information back in to the originating city. This throws the pathfinder into panic-mode and confuses the demand and desirability simulators. Make congestion slower than walking, and that should be enough to avoid the problem. I loved the congestion/speed curve; that should work wonderfully for what you're trying to do with the TLA.. I'm modding your file right now to make a few adjustments that you'd asked for. It'll be up in a few hours... but first...
I just read this, or tried to. I'm going to stick to textures I think... What I understood of the first post made perfect sense, and I think I understood it. but when Mott and Jason started trading theisi (thesisiss?) there was more than a little of this going on as I'm hungover.One thing that did stick though is the park and ride system. Is it possible to add a parking garage to a lot that is CO$$$ and limit access only to those who work in that building? Some buildings do have parking garages.
Actually, mott, that is a very good point you made about keeping the Road speed slightly lower. The TLA will have a bit of an advantage when it comes to commute times anyway because the commuters will be able to use the turn lane and cross the median, which they can't do without a cross-street on the Avenue network. The speed/capacity differential might actually equalize things in that case.
As far as traffic signal timing, there is an exemplar somewhere that I've come across that affects it. If I remember right, there's three different settings, one for Road, one for Avenue and one for Street (the three networks a traffic signal can function on).
Buses will still go on streets, but only to bus stops, rather than taking huge shortcuts, which is a big improvement. I wish I could take pictures, but the game crashed.
CJs are good for this too. I should go scan some.