Synthetic Population Catalyst: a micro-simulated population of England with circadian activities

Hadrien Salat, Dustin Carlino, Fernando Benitez-Paez, Anna Zanchetta, Daniel Arribas-Bel, Mark Birkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The Synthetic Population Catalyst (SPC) is an open-source tool for the simulation of populations. Building on previous efforts, synthetic populations can be created for any area in England, from a small geographical unit to the entire country, and linked to geolocalised daily activities. In contrast to most transport models, the output is focussed on the population itself and the way people socially interact together, rather than on a precise modelling of the volume of transport trips from one area to another. SPC is therefore particularly well suited, for example, to study the spread of a pandemic within a population. Other applications include identifying segregation patterns and potential causes of inequality of opportunity amongst individuals. It is fast, thanks to its Rust codebase. The outputs for each lieutenancy area in England are directly available without having to run the code.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Early online date25 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Sept 2023


  • Population micro-simulation
  • Social interactions
  • Transport flows
  • Synthetic data


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