Module 10 - A311a

A311a: Understanding User Needs for DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1203 Standard v03 - Student Supplement

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A311a: Understanding User Needs for DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1203 Standard v03

 

Table of Contents

Module Description - 2

Introduction/Purpose - 2

DMS Characteristics - 3

Reference to Other Standards - 3

Case Studies - 4

Protocol Requirements List (PRL) - 6

Glossary - 13

References for Additional Information - 14

Study Questions - 15

Icon Guide - 16

 

1. Module Description

Dynamic Message Signs (DMSs) are widely used field devices deployed as part of a central Freeway Management System's information dissemination purposes, and remotely monitored and controlled. The NTCIP 1203 standard v03 was developed using Systems Engineering Process (SEP) and was published in two companion volumes: Part 1 Main Standard contains user needs, requirements and design content, including PRL, and Part 2 contains Annex C Test Procedures (previous versions did not contain test procedures). Agencies prepare their DMS project specification based on the information provided by the standard to acquire standard-based interoperable signs. Participants will learn how to prepare a project level Protocol Requirement List (PRL) necessary for DMS procurement specification.

DMS Training Modules

Agencies preparing a DMS project specification for Dynamic Message signs (DMS) based on NTCIP 1203 v03 are advised to consult the following three updated sequential modules to complete the DMS related training:

  1. A311a: Understanding User Needs for DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1203 standard v03
  2. A311b: Specifying Requirements for DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1203 standard v03
  3. T311: Applying Your Test Plan to the DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1203 standard v03

 

2. Introduction/Purpose

The purpose of this updated module is to incorporate necessary changes made by the updated NTCIP standard v03 (from v02), and assists technical staff in writing unambiguous, complete, and well-written user needs based on NTCIP 1213 Standard v03. This module provides participants with information on how to identify the appropriate use of the NTCIP 1213 Standard v03 and acquire a DMS system based on what the user is seeking to accomplish; and also provides participants with information on how to identify user needs that can be traced to requirements, which will be discussed in A306b: Specifying Requirements for DMS Systems based on NTCIP 1213 Standard v03, with support from tools and resources such as Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) and Protocol Requirements List (PRL) in following a Systems Engineering (SE) Process. An updated final module, T311, will deal with the preparing and applying of testing documentation for DMS based on NTCIP 1203 Standard v03.

The module focuses on the DMS communications interface aspects—how to configure, monitor, and control DMSs remotely from a Transportation Management Center (TMC)-Management Station- or locally at the front-panel of a DMS controller—using data objects provided by the NTCIP 1203 v03 standard Management Information Base (MIB).

 

3. DMS Characteristics

3.1 DMS Types

There are many types of DMS and they can be characterized in many ways. One way is by the DMS' capabilities for handling messages. This characterization places a DMS into one of three major categories:

3.2 DMS Technologies

DMS can also be characterized by the technology that is used in the sign. The technologies used include any combination of the following technologies:

Finally, DMS can be characterized by the type of display layout employed by the sign, as follows:

 

4. Reference to Other Standards

 

5. Case Studies: Summary of DMS USER NEEDS

DMS User Needs / Features Classification

Section 2.5 of volume 1 of the standard identifies and describes the various standardized user needs addressed by and features that may be offered by a DMS. Section 3 uses these features in the analysis of the system to define the various functional requirements of a DMS.

The operation of a DMS can be categorized into three major areas:

Section 2.5.1 Manage the DMS Configuration

The various sub-features for managing the DMS configuration include:

  1. Determine the DMS Identity
  2. Determine Sign Display Capabilities
  3. Manage Fonts
  4. Manage Graphics
  5. Manage Brightness
  6. Address Backwards Compatibility

2.5.2 Control the DMS

The various sub-features for controlling the DMS include:

  1. Control a DMS from More than One Location
  2. Remotely Reset the Sign Controller
  3. Control the Sign Face
  4. Control External Devices
  5. Control the Brightness Outputs
  6. Perform Preventative Maintenance

2.5.3 Monitor the Status of the DMS

The various sub-features for monitoring the status of the DMS include:

  1. Perform Diagnostics
  2. Monitor the Current Message

2.5.4 Provide for Backwards Compatibility of DMS to NTCIP 1203 v1

The following sub-features were modified within NTCIP 1203 v2 and need to be specifically spelled out to achieve backwards compatibility for certain features within a DMS conforming to NTCIP 1203 v2.

  1. Allow a DMS to obtain the number of fan failures using the method defined in NTCIP 1203v1
  2. Allow a DMS to initiate the fan test using the method defined in NTCIP 1203 v1
  3. Allow a DMS to utilize a control mode of 'simulation' as defined in NTCIP 1203 v1

Understanding Key DMS Terminology that Impacts DMS Deployments

 

6. Protocol Requirements List (PRL) and Fill-In PRL Examples

The PRL, provided in tables defined under Sections 3.3.8, and 3.3.9, map the user needs defined in Section 2 to the requirements defined in Section 3. The table can be used by:

  1. A user or specification writer to indicate which requirements are to be implemented in a project-specific implementation.
  2. The protocol implementer, as a checklist to reduce the risk of failure to conform to NTCIP 1203 v03 through oversight.
  3. The supplier and user, as a detailed indication of the capabilities of the implementation.
  4. The user, as a basis for initially checking the potential interoperability with another implementation.

User Needs Column

The user needs are defined within Section 2 and the PRL is based upon the user need sections within that Section. The section number and user need name are indicated within these columns.

Requirements Column

The requirements are defined within Section 3 and the PRL references the traces from user needs to these requirements. The section number and functional requirements name are indicated within these columns.

Conformance Column

The following notations and symbols are used to indicate status and conditional status in the PRL within all NTCIP standards. Not all of these notations and symbols may be used within NTCIP 1203 v03.

Support / Project Requirements Column

The support column can be used by a procurement specification to identify the required features for the given procurement or by an implementer to identify which features have been implemented. In either case, the user circles the appropriate answer (Yes, No, or N/A) in the support column.

Fill-in PRL with User Needs/Requirements Examples

Fill-in PRL with User Needs/Require merits

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following table with the Support/Project Requirement column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
2.5.3.1.5 (Environment) Monitor Sign Environment 0 Yes/No  
    3.5.3.1.4.7 Monitor Sign Housing Temperatures M Yes  
    3.5.3.1.4.3 Monitor Sign Housing Humidity 0 Yes/No  
    3.5.3.1.4.9 Monitor Control Cabinet Temperatures 0 Yes/No  
    3.5.3.1.4.10 Monitor Control Cabinet Humidity 0 Yes/No  
    3.5.3.1.7 Monitor Ambient Environment Temp:M Yes/NA  

)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following table with the Conformance column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
 
2.4.2 Operational Environment M Yes
2.4.2.1 Live Data Exchange M Yes  
    3.4.1.1 Retrieve Data M Yes  
    3.4.1.2 Deliver Data M Yes  
    3.4.1.3 Explore Data M Yes  
    3.4.4.1 Determine Current Access Settings M Yes  
    3.4.4.2 Configure Access M Yes The DMS shall support at least access levels in addition to the administrator.

)

DMS Specification MUST Select YES these User Needs and associated Requirements

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following tables with the Conformance column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row:

2.5 Features M Yes  
2.5.1 Manage the DMS Configuration M Yes  
2.5.1.1 Determine the DMS Identity M Yes  
    3.5.1.1.1 Determine Sign Type and Technology M Yes  

)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following table with the Conformance column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
         
2.5.2.3 Control the Sign Face M Yes  
2.5.2.3.1 Activate and Display a Message M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.1 Activate a Message M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.3.5 Retrieve Message M Yes  

)

Specification Must selects YES

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following table with the Conformance column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row:

2.5 3.1.8 (Door) Monitor Door Status 0 Yes /No  
    3.5 3 1 3.10 Monitor Door Status M Yes  

)

Specification selects YES, if Door status is monitored

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This slide contains the following table with the Conformance column highlighted and the word Yes circled in red on the first row, then with an arrow pointing down the text below:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
 
2.5.2 Control the DMS M Yes  
2.5.2.1 Control a DMS from More than One Location M Yes  
    3.5.2.1 Manage Control Source M Yes  
    3.6.4 t Supplemental Requirements for Control Modes M Yes  

)

 

2.5.2.1 Control a DMS from More than One Location

This feature addresses the need for DMS to be controlled both remotely (e.g., from one or more central computers) and locally (c.c., from the controller directly or from a laptop computer connected to the controller).

Instructions for Completing the PRL (Page 17, Volume 1)

In the 'project requirements' column, each response shall be selected either from the indicated set of responses (for example: Yes / No / NA), or it shall reference additional items that are to be attached (for example, list of Permanent DMS Messages to be supported by an implementation).

If a conditional requirement is inapplicable, use the Not Applicable (NA) choice. If a mandatory requirement is not satisfied, exception information must be supplied by entering a reference Xi, where i is a unique identifier, to an accompanying rationale for the non-conformance.

3.3.4 Protocol Requirements List - Supplemental Table: The reason that the PRL provides two tables is because the supplemental requirements may relate to multiple architectural and/or data exchange requirements (contained in the first table). This split reduces the amount of repetition that would otherwise increase the size of the first table.

PARTIALLY FILLED_IN Sample Protocol Requirements List (PRL)

Table Based on NTCIP 1203 v03

PRL does NOT allow you change COLUMNS, but Rows can be tailored to map project user needs and their associated Requirements as per the standard. To reduce the table size, the following PRL shows ONLY key user needs with minimal information in the last column. Local projects may add additional project requirements as needed in the last column and populate OPTIONAL user needs marked as SELECTED YES. All Mandatory user needs are shown as M are to be supported YES and a box highlights all M user needs. (Note: table below is shown as example-not a full list of user needs.)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This figure contains the following table with items highlighted in red, represented in BOLD in the table below:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
2.3.2 DMS Characteristics M Yes  
  DMS Type M Yes  
2.3.2.1.1 (BOS) BOS O.1 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.1.2 (CMS) CMS O.1 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.1.3 (VMS) VMS O.1 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.2 DMS Technology M Yes  
2.3.2.2.1 (Fiber) Fiber O Yes / No  
2.3.2.2.2 (LED) LED O Yes / No  
2.3.2.2.3 (Flip/Shutter) Flip/Shutter O Yes / No  
2.3.2.2.4 (Lamp) Lamp O Yes / No  
2.3.2.2.5 (Drum) Drum O Yes / No  
2.3.2.3 DMS Display Matrix Configuration M Yes The DMS shall be _millimeters wide (0..65535) and_ millimeters high (0..65535), inclusive of borders.
2.3.2.3.1 Non-Matrix O.2 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.3.2 (Matrix) Matrix O.2 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.3.2.1 Full Matrix O.3 (1) Yes / No The sign shall be pixels wide (0..65535) and pixels high (0..65535).
2.3.2.3.2.2 Line Matrix O.3 (1) Yes / No  
2.3.2.3.2.3 Character Matrix O.3 (1) Yes / No  

 

)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This figure contains the following table with items highlighted in red, represented in BOLD in the table below:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
2.3.2.4 (Beacons) DMS Display Support of Beacons O Yes / No  
2.4.2 Operational Environment M Yes  
2.4.2.1 Live Data Exchange M Yes  
    3.4.1.1 Retrieve Data M Yes  
    3.4.1.2 Deliver Data M Yes  
    3.4.1.3 Explore Data M Yes  
2.4.2.2 Logged Data Exchange O Yes / No  
    H.2.2.1 Set Time M Yes  
    H.2.2.4 Verify Current Time M Yes
2.5 Features M Yes  
2.5.1 Manage the DMS Configuration M Yes  
2.5.1.1 Determine the DMS Identity M Yes  
    3.5.1.1.1 Determine Sign Type and Technology M Yes  
2.5.1.2 Determine Sign Display Capabilities O Yes / No  
    3.5.1.2.1.1 Determine the Size of the Sign Face M Yes  
    3.5.1.2.3.1 Determine Maximum Number of Pages VMS:M Yes / NA The DMS shall support at least ____ (1..255) pages for a single message.
2.5.1.3 Manage Fonts VMS:O Yes / No / NA  
    3.5.1.3.1 Determine Maximum Number of Fonts Supported M Yes  
2.5.1.4 Manage Graphics VMS:O Yes / No / NA  
    3.5.1.4.1 Determine Maximum Number of Graphics M Yes The DMS shall support at least graphics.
    3.5.1.4.2 Determine Maximum Graphic Size M Yes  
2.5.2 Control the DMS M Yes  
2.5.2.1 Control a DMS from More than One Location M Yes  
    3.5.2.1 Manage Control Source M Yes  

)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This figure contains the following table with items highlighted in red, represented in BOLD in the table below:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
    3.6.4 t Supplemental Requirements for Control Modes M Yes  
2.5.2.2 Remotely Reset the Sign Controller O Yes / No  
    3.5.2.2 Reset the Sign Controller M Yes  
2.5.2.3 Control the Sign Face M Yes  
2.5.2.3.1 Activate and Display a Message M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.1 Activate a Message M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.3.5 Retrieve Message M Yes  
2.5.2.3.2 Prioritize Messages M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.1 Activate a Message M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.3.3 Define a Message VMS:M Yes / NA  
2.5.2.3.3 Define a Message VMS:M Yes / NA  
    3.5.1.2.1.3 Determine Beacon Type M Yes  
    3.5.2.3.2.2 Configure Default Background and Foreground Color O Yes / No  
2.5.2.3.4 Blank a Sign M Yes  
      Activate a Message M Yes  
2.5.2.3.5 Schedule Messages for Display O Yes / No  
    3.5.2.3.1 Activate a Message M Yes  
2.5.2.6 Perform Preventative Maintenance Fiber OR Flip/Shutter:O Yes / No / NA  
    3.4.2.6 Manage the Exercise of Pixels M Yes  
    H.2.2.1 Set Time O Yes / No  
    3.6.6.6 t Pixel Service Flag M Yes  
2.5.3 Monitor the Status of the DMS M Yes  
2.5.3.1 Perform Diagnostics M Yes  

)

This slide contains the following table. Please see the Extended Text Description below.

(Extended Text Description: This figure contains the following table with the first five column headers outlined in red in the table below:

USER NEED SECTION NUMBER USER NEED FR SECTION NUMBER FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENT CONFORMANCE SUPPORT/ PROJECT REQUIREMENT ADDITIONAL PROJECT REQUIREMENTS
2.5.3.1.1 Determine Sign Error Conditions -High-Level Diagnostics M Yes  
    3.5.3.1.1.1 (LampTest) Execute Lamp Testing Lamp OR Fiber:M Yes / NA  
    3.5.3.1.1.2 (PixelTest) Activate Pixel Testing Matrix:M Yes / NA  
2.5.3.1.5 (Environment) Monitor Sign Environment O Yes / No  
2.5.3.1.13 Monitor the Current Message M Yes  
    3.5.3.2.1 Monitor Information about the Currently Displayed Message O Yes / No  

)

 

7. Glossary

Term Definition
BOS Blank Out Sign
CMS Changeable Message Sign
DMS Dynamic Message Signs
FMS Freeway Management System
NTCIP National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocols
PRL Protocol Requirements List
RTM Requirement Traceability Matrix
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol
MULTI Mark Up Language for Transportation Information
TMC Traffic Management Center
VMS Variable Message Sign
Agency Specification A document that has been prepared by an agency to define requirements for a subject item or process when procured by the agency.
Beacon A device that directs light in one direction and flashes (Similar to one-section traffic intersection signal head). The device is intended to increase a driver's attention to a message. The color is undefined (see also Strobe Lights).
Compliance A condition that exists when an item meets all of the requirements of an agency specification.
Concept of Operations A document that describes the purpose for a system project, including a description of the current and proposed system, as well as key user needs that the new system is required to address.
Conformance A condition that exists when an item meets all of the mandatory requirements as defined by a standard. It can be measured on the standard as a whole, which means that it meets all mandatory (and applicable conditional) requirements of the standard or on a feature level (i.e., it conforms to feature X as defined in section X.X.X), which means that it meets all mandatory (and applicable conditional) requirements of the feature.
Dialogs A sequence of information or message exchanges.
Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) Any sign system that can change the message presented to the viewer, such as VMS, CMS, and BOS. It includes the following major components: sign face, sign housing, controller, and, if present, the controller cabinet.
Feature A service provided by / behavior of the device.
Interchangeability A condition which exists when two or more items possess such functional and physical characteristics as to be equivalent in performance and durability, and are capable of being exchanged one for the other without alteration of the items themselves, or adjoining items, except for adjustment, and without selection for fit and performance.
Interoperable The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and use the information that has been exchanged (IEEE Std. 610.12-1990: IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology).
Protocol Requirements List (PRL) A table mapping user needs with its associated requirements. This table allows procurement personnel to specify the desired features of a DMS or can be used by a manufacturer to document the features supported by their implementation. Requirement A condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
Specification The project-specific detailed requirements for a DMS to be purchased by an agency or a statement by a manufacturer defining the detailed features provided by the DMS. Within NTCIP 1203 v03, 'specification' often refers to the text contained in the 'Additional Project Requirements' column of the PRL.
User Need The business or operational problem (opportunity) that must be fulfilled to justify purchase or use. While this is termed a 'user need' within the NTCIP community, it reflects needs of all stakeholders.
Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) A table that links the requirements to the corresponding dialogs and objects.

 

8. References for Additional Information

 

9. Study Questions

1. Which of the following is a FALSE statement related to NTCIP 1203 v03 DMS Standard?

  1. Contains SNMP Interface
  2. Lacks Conformance Testing Documentation
  3. Includes Protocol Requirements List (PRL)
  4. Includes Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM)

 

2. Which of the following is NOT a DMS operational need?

  1. Management station remotely configures a DMS sign
  2. Management station monitors and controls a DMS sign
  3. Management station activates the beacon during an incident
  4. Management requests current traffic flow data from the DMS controller

 

3. Which of the following is NOT a correct statement?

  1. PRL is used to ensure conformance to the standard
  2. PRL only identifies mandatory user needs/requirements
  3. PRL is necessary for acquiring just a "few" DMSs
  4. NTCIP 1203 v03 supports all types of DMSs and technologies

 

4. Which of the following is a FALSE statement related to a DMS specification?

  1. DMS specification includes a PRL
  2. Conformance requires only meeting mandatory user needs
  3. Compliance requires only mandatory user needs
  4. Vendor must use the project PRL

 

Icon Guide

The following icons are used throughout the module to visually indicate the corresponding learning concept listed below, and/or to highlight a specific point in the training material.

1) Background information: General knowledge that is available elsewhere and is outside the module being presented. This will be used primarily in the beginning of the slide set when reviewing information readers are expected to already know.

Background information icon indicates general knowledge that is available elsewhere and is outside the module being presented.

2) Tools/Applications: An industry-specific item a person would use to accomplish a specific task, and application of that tool to fit the need.

Tools/Applications icon. An industry-specific item a person would use to accomplish a specific task, and applying that tool to fit your need.

3) Remember: Used when referencing something already discussed in the module that is necessary to recount.

Remember icon. Used when referencing something already discussed in the module that is necessary to recount.

4) Refer to Student Supplement: Items or information that are further explained/detailed in the Student Supplement.

Supplement icon indicating items or information that are further explained/detailed in the Student Supplement.

5) Example: Can be real-world (case study), hypothetical, a sample of a table, etc.

Example icon. Can be real-world (case study), hypothetical, a sample of a table, etc.

6) Checklist: Used to indicate a process that is being laid out sequentially.

Checklist icon used to indicate a process that is being laid out sequentially.