Academic articles

Simulation-based Evaluation of Urban Consolidation Centers Considering Urban Access Regulations

The negative effects of urban freight transports, such as air quality problems, road congestion, and noise emissions lead in many cities to major difficulties. A widely studied measure to reduce these negative effects are Urban Consolidation Centers (UCCs), which aim to bundle freight flows to reduce the number of urban freight transports. However, many projects showed that the additional costs of UCCs often made it unattractive for carriers to participate in such schemes. This paper presents an agent-based simulation to assess the impact of urban access regulations on the cost-attractiveness of UCCs for carriers. A case study inspired by the Frankfurt Rhine-Main area is presented to compare deliveries of a group of carriers with and without a Urban Consolidation Center under various urban access scenarios. The simulation shows that regulations increase the cost-attractiveness of UCCs for carriers to varying degrees while increasing the overall traffic volume.

Simulation-based Headway Optimization for a Subway Network: a Performance Comparison of Population-based Algorithms

This study presents simulation-based optimization for the Viennese subway system. The underlying discrete event simulation model has several stochastic elements like time-dependent demand and turning maneuver times, direction-dependent vehicle travel and passenger travel as well as transfer times. Passenger creation is a Poisson process which uses hourly origin-destination-matrices based on mobile phone data. The number of waiting passengers on platforms and within vehicles are subject to capacity restrictions. As a microscopic element, passenger distribution along platforms and within vehicles is considered. There are trade-offs between service quality (e.g. waiting time) and costs (e.g. fleet mileage). This bi-objective optimization problem is transformed into a single-objective one by normalization and scalarization. The goal is to find optimal time-dependent headways. Computational experience is gained from 48 test instances which are based on real-world data. Several population-based evolutionary algorithms were applied. The covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy (CMA-ES) performed best.

An Agent-based Simulation Framework for Supply Chain Disruptions and Facility Fortification

Fortifying facilities within a supply chain network can mitigate facility failures caused by disruptions. In this study we build an agent-based simulation model to study the r-interdiction median problem with fortification (RIMF), considering two types of facility disruptions: naturally-caused and human-caused disruptions. The objective of this study is to develop a simulation model that analyzes facility disruption and fortification as a repeated Stackelberg competition, where fortification decisions are made anticipating disruptions.

Agent-Based Simulation Modeling of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Station Using Smart Card Data

A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station with multiple loading zones tends to have a longer passenger-bus interface and, thus, lead to longer passenger walking times and longer bus dwell times than ordinary bus stops. As a way to reduce bus dwell times in a BRT station, this study focuses on eliminating delays in passengers’ reaction to their desired bus by designing an improved passenger information system (PIS) that can increase passengers’ certainty about the bus stopping location. This study develops an agent-based simulation model based on observations from a BRT station in Brisbane, Australia to reflect a real BRT operations and passenger flows. The input parameters for the simulation model are calibrated with actual data including smart card records, field measurements, and video recordings. After mapping passenger moving and waiting patterns, and allocation logic of bus loading areas, various what-if analyses can be performed to design better passenger information systems.

Modeling and Simulation of Port-Of-Entry Systems

This paper describes a suite of simulation models for Port-of-Entry systems, dubbed POESS (POE Simulation System). Port-of-Entry Simulation System was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for use primarily by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. Port-of-Entry Simulation System aims to assist CBP in Port-of-Entry design and operational decision making. A Port-of-Entry Simulation System simulation model of the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) POE, located at El Paso, Texas, is described as an example.

Simulation of The Order Process in Maritime Hinterland Transportation: The Impact of Order Release Times

The integration of information systems between the various actors organizing and executing the transport of containers to seaports is slowly progressing. Transport orders are frequently characterized by high change rates causing high manual revision effort for dispatchers. Therefore, these order changes, often received shortly before the day of departure, raise the question regarding the immediate transmission of transport orders to the subsequent actors in the transport chain. This paper analyzes the impact of different order release times, which define the timing of order transmission, on order process efficiency (processing times and costs) using a multi-method simulation approach. In a case study, four actors, two focusing on transport planning and two on operative transport execution, are considered. The simulation experiments with varying order release times and change rates reveal: A late release of orders from planning to operative actors and a reduction of order changes can significantly increase order process efficiency.

Increasing capacity utilization of shuttle trains in intermodal transport by investing in transshipment technologies for non-cranable semi-trailers

For shuttle trains with a fixed transport capacity which are the dominant operating form in intermodal transport, increasing capacity utilization is of crucial importance due to the low marginal costs of transporting an additional loading unit. Hence, offering rail-based transport services for non-cranable semi-trailers can result in additional earnings for railway companies. However, these earnings have to compensate for the investment costs of the technology. Based on a dynamic investment calculation, this paper presents a simulation model to evaluate the economic profitability of transshipment technologies for non-cranable semi-trailers from the railway company’s perspective. The results depend on the capacity utilization risk faced by the railway company. In particular, if the railway company does not sell all the train capacity to freight forwarders or intermodal operators on a long-term basis, investing in technology for the transshipment of non-cranable semi-trailers can be economically profitable.

A simulation approach for multi-stage supply chain optimization to analyze real world transportation effects

The cost effective management of a supply chain under stochastic influences, e.g. in demand or the replenishment lead time, is a critical issue. In this paper a multi-stage and multi-product supply chain is investigated where each member uses the (s,Q)-policy for inventory management. A bi-objective optimization problem to minimize overall supply chain costs while maximizing service level for retailers is studied. Optimal parameter levels for reorder points and lot sizes are evaluated. In a first step a streamlined analytical solution approach is tested to identify optimal parameter settings. For real applications, this approach neglects the dynamics and interdependencies of the supply chain members. Therefore a simulation-based approach, combining an evolutionary algorithm with simulation, is used for the optimization. The simulation-based approach further enables the modelling of additional real world transportation constraints. The numerical simulation study highlights the potential of simulation-based optimization compared to analytical models for multi-stage multi-product supply chains.

A combined discrete-continuous simulation model for analyzing train-pedestrian interactions

Computer simulation has defined itself as a reliable method for the analysis of stochastic and dynamic complex systems in both academic and practical applications. This is largely attributed to the advent and evolution of several simulation taxonomies, such as, Discrete Event Simulation, Continuous Simulation, System Dynamics, Agent-Based Modeling, and hybrid approaches, e.g., combined discrete-continuous simulation, etc. Each of these simulation methods works best for certain types of problems. In this paper, a discrete-continuous simulation approach is described for studying train and pedestrian traffic interactions for purposes of decision support. A practical operations problem related to commodity train operation within two small towns in Alberta, Canada, is then used to demonstrate the implementation of the approach within the Simphony.NET simulation system. Simulation results generated are presented.

A Simulation-Based Investigation of Freight Transportation Policy Planning and Supply Chains

Regional freight transportation policy planning is a difficult task, as few policy-planners have adequate tools to aid their understanding of how various policy formulations affect this complex, socio-technical system. In this paper, we develop a proof-of-concept model to simulate the impacts of public policies on freight transportation in a simulated region. We use the techniques of multi-disciplinary system design and optimization to analyze the formulation of regional freight transportation policies and examine the relative effects of policies and exogenous forces on the region in order to provide insight into the policy-planning process. Both single objective and multi-objective analysis is performed to provide policy-planners with a clear understanding of the trade-offs made in policy formulation.