3rd & 4th iTEM intercomparisons

iTEM plans two, related model intercomparison projects to take place in 2019 and 2020:

  1. iTEM model intercomparison project #3 (MIP 3) to conclude by the iTEM5 workshop (November 2019). The goals of MIP 3 are to:
    • Collect & compare projections reflecting methodological improvements (including the incorporation of new, disruptive transport options) and new scenarios developed by participating teams.
    • Examine the role of key technology and policy assumptions by collecting and examining modeling input data and metadata.
    • Expand the group of iTEM participating teams.
  2. MIP 4 to conclude by the iTEM6 workshop in late 2020. The goals of MIP 4 are to:
    • Improve comparison by specifying, through a community process, common historical baselines and scenarios of exogenous drivers and policy assumptions.
    • Provide systematic, reliable knowledge on transport decarbonization pathways, as an input to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.

This page serves as the official reference for participants in both MIPs. Please read it carefully, and direct any questions to <mail@transportenergy.org>.

Participants and roles

Modeling teams (MTs)

These are individuals or groups identified with a single transport energy model who submit projections from that model. Modeling teams will:

  • Submit data according to the format, process, and deadlines below.
  • Respond to queries from the Analysis team, as necessary to prepare the analysis.
  • Send at least one representative to the iTEM5 workshop.
  • (optional) Join calls for design of MIP 4 scenarios.
Analysis team (AT)

Members of the iTEM organizing group, plus any interested contributors. The Analysis team will:

  • Develop and apply methods for processing modeling teams' submissions into a single database.
  • Prepare analyses based on the resulting database.
  • Preserve confidentiality of proprietary data. See [1].
Steering group (SG)

Including the Analysis team and interested representatives from Modeling teams, including at least one member from industry, from the NGO sphere, and from academia. Steering group members will:

  • Approve processes for handling confidential data.
  • Join regular calls to decide on actions for MIP 3.
  • Join calls for scenario design towards MIP 4.


2019 May 10
Data template and call for participants on iTEM website. Data submissions open.
2019 Jun 15
Deadline for MT initial submissions. Deadline for new MTs to join. AT begin work based on initial submissions.
2019 Aug 01
Deadline for MTs revised submissions. MTs may submit revised data based on on-going work or requests from the AT, 1 or more times.
2019 Sep 01 (tentative)
Webinar. AT present initial comparison results to SG and interested MT members online. SG and MT offer feedback on comparison.
2019 Sep–Oct
Revised results available online to participants only. MTs revise submissions as necessary. AT revise analysis. All iTEM5 attendees comment on results of greatest interest, to be discussed at at iTEM5.
2019 Nov 12–13
AT present MIP 3 final results at iTEM5. All discuss.
2019 (ongoing)
Discussion and identification of shared scenarios for MIP 4.
MTs run shared scenarios on common historical baselines, [2] prepare and submit data for MIP 4.

Format for submissions

Submissions from modeling teams have three components:

  1. Projections data (required).
  2. Model and scenario metadata (required).
  3. Input assumptions (optional; new for MIP3).

The content and format for each component is described below.

All files must be combined in a single archive named “[MODEL]-1.zip” or “[MODEL]-1.tar.gz” for the initial submission. For subsequent submissions, replace “1” with “2”, etc. The current date (e.g. “2019-05-09”) may also be used; however the most-recent submission must sort last.

Modeling teams may check that their submission conforms to the template by running the check command of the iTEM database tool, available at https://github.com/transportenergy/database.

Submissions must be uploaded to <https://www.dropbox.com/request/DkPn37ejfAj3BhXd7lFg>.

Projections data

A single file “data.csv” (CSV format) or “data.xlsx” (Microsoft Excel format).

An example template is available in CSV and Microsoft Excel formats.

The data file:

  • must have the index columns Model, Scenario, Region, Variable, Mode, Technology, and Fuel.
  • must have one or more data columns with year headers (e.g. “2015”, “2020”, …).
  • If in Microsoft Excel format, must contain data in only the first worksheet.
  • should have a Unit column. [3]

Because of the variety of iTEM models, modeling teams:

  • may either leave cells blank, or delete rows with no data, if the measure is not produced by their model, or is not produced at a particular level of disaggregation.

  • should report data at the greatest level of disaggregation possible. If the categories used natively in a model are more detailed than the ones in the example template, then data should be submitted at this level of detail. For example, modeling teams should report the following conceptual differences, for any variables for which their models distinguish values:

    • Light-duty vehicles that are privately-owned or part of (ride-sourcing) fleets.
    • Light-duty vehicles that are fully autonomous or human-driven.
    • Biofuels produced by certain technologies.
  • may report totals or averages across any dimension(s), if these are provided by their model. [4]

  • may refer to the following files in the iTEM database tool source code:

    • concepts.yaml: gives the codes, names, and descriptions of different groups of hierarchical concepts.
    • measures.yaml: gives the codes, names, descriptions, and units of particular measures of transport quantities.
    • spec.yaml: specifies the combinations of measures and concepts that appear in the template.

    …as well as the full, 13-dimension indices of the simplified variables in the template, available in CSV and Microsoft Excel formats.

Model and scenario metadata

The file “metadata.yaml” is required. This file must be in YAML format, with the following top-level keys:

  • citation:(required): preferred citation (first entry) and extra citations (additional entries) for modelling methods, in BibTeX format. Example:

    - |
        author = {Sonia Yeh and Gouri Shankar Mishra and Lew Fulton and Page Kyle
                  and David L. McCollum and Joshua Miller and Pierpaolo Cazzola and
                  Jacob Teter},
        doi = {10.1016/j.trd.2016.11.001},
        journalsubtitle = {Transport and Environment},
        journaltitle = {Transportation Research Part D},
        keywords = {Transportation scenarios; Transportation behaviors; Energy use;
                    Climate mitigation; GHG emissions; Transportation demand; Model
        title = {Detailed assessment of global transport-energy models’
                 structures and projections},
        year = {2016}
    - |
        accessdate = {2019-05-10},
        author = {iTEM organizing team},
        url = {https://transportenergy.org},
  • scenario:(required): for each value appearing in the Scenario`` column of data.{csv,xlsx}, a one-sentence description of the scenario, and (optionally) a reference to a more detailed description. Example:

        description: This is the reference scenario in Model ABC.
        reference: author-2017  # Refers to citation.bib
        description: A new-policies scenario.
        reference: https://example.com/scenario-descriptions/np
      15 OS:
        description: This scenario achieves 1.5°C of warming, with overshoot.
        # (no reference)
  • consent:” (optional): statement of consent for the Analysis team to redistribute part or all of the projection data in the future. If this permission is limited, the limits must be clearly specified. Example:

    consent: >
      The Model ABC team consents for the iTEM MIP3 steering group to redistribute
      part or all of the data included with this submission, with the exception of:
      - All values for the variable 'Sales' in region 'AFR'.

regions.yaml” (optional): a file in YAML format describing the regional aggregation used by the model. If included, this file must be in the following format, and must describe every region label appearing in data.{csv,xlsx}:

Argentina:  # Label appearing in the 'Region' column of 'data.{csv,xlsx}'
  - ARG  # One or more ISO 3166 alpha-3 codes.
  # See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_3166_country_codes

  - AUS
  - NZL

Central America and Caribbean:
  - ABW
  - AIA
  - ANT
  - ATG
  # (many more)

# (etc.)

Input assumptions

New for MIP 3, modeling teams are asked to include, if possible, information about specific technology and policy assumptions.

This information will be used to:

  1. Improve nuance in interpretation of differences in model projections, by attributing them to (or ruling out) differences in these key drivers of transport energy use.
  2. Aid scenario-setting for MIP 4. Consensus or disagreement on these inputs will inform one or more specified values for MIP 4.

Because these data and their use may vary widely across models, there is no specific requirement on format or structure.

Battery costs

A directory “input/battery/” containing one or more files.

These files should describe the concept of cost for battery equipment used in electric or electrified vehicles.

This may include information about:

  • Differences by mode: road LDV, road freight (by size), non-road, etc.
  • Whether the cost concepts are by part, subsystem, or whole-system.
  • Literature or other data sources.
  • Documentation of calculations used to derive input values.
  • Description of modeling methods that govern how the input values are used.

Fuel economy

A directory “input/fuel-economy/” containing one or more files.

These files should describe the concept of fuel economy for newly sold road vehicles.

This may include information about:

  • Differences by country or model region.
  • Test-cycle versus on-road performance.
  • Compliance.
  • Description of modeling methods that govern how the input values are used.


The code at https://github.com/transportenergy/database will be used to process modeling teams' submissions.


[1]iTEM aims to be inclusive of projections from the widest possible group of models, reflecting the full range of perspectives on possible transport energy futures and scenarios. To this end, the iTEM MIPs include specific processes to preserve the confidentiality of proprietary data. In particular: all submissions are private; that is, they are accessible only to the analysis team and the one modeling team that submitted them, unless explicit consent is given for redistribution. Figures based on aggregated results will be shared with all iTEM5 participants; modeling teams may request that their submitted data be excluded from such figures either for the workshop or any subsequent publication. Any other use of the database or figures based on it will be communicated to modeling teams in advance.
[2]The resources and priorities of each group may, or may not, allow them to develop & run new scenarios based on iTEM discussions. The MIP 4 comparison aims to be inclusive of models from teams that cannot run shared scenarios; however, the headline results may focus on the comparison enabled by historical/scenario alignment.
[3]Modeling teams are strongly encouraged to transform data to the units given in the template, in which case the Unit column may be omitted. If other units are used, the Unit column must be included.
[4]The analysis team will compute these totals from the disaggregate categories. Any difference with submitted totals will be noted.

Revisions of this page:

  • 2019-05-09: initial version.