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Events Calendar

EVENTS IN January 2015

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Speaker:  Stephane Hess, Professor of Choice Modeling, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, U.K.

Abstract: Mathematical models of choice behaviour are used to understand people's choices across a range of topic areas, with transport being one of the most active fields. Their outputs form a key component in guidance underpinning government and industry decisions on changes to policy, infrastructure developments or the introduction of new services or products. In recent years, there has been a growing trend to seek to improve the behavioural realism of the models, often through bringing in ideas from behavioural economics and mathematical psychology. This presentations gives an overview of a number of key concepts in this area, showing the extent to which existing data supports the notion that the assumption of purely compensatory (and often linear in preferences) decision making is not representative of real world behaviour. The talk then focusses on whether (and how much) this matters for choice modelling research and real world transport planning, and identifies some key priorities for future developments.

Bio:   Stephane Hess is Professor of Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. He is also Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney, and affiliated Professor in Demand Analysis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

His main research interests lie in the use of advanced discrete choice models for the analysis of travel behaviour, primarily with the use of stated preference data. Here, Hess has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, notably in a valuation of travel time savings context, while also publishing widely on the benefits of advanced structures in actual large-scale transport analyses.

Contact Info: Diana Marek

Location: Chambers Hall 600 Foster St Ruan Conference Center, Lower Level Evanston IL 60208

Event URL: http://www.transportation.northwestern.edu/

Thursday, January 22, 2015

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Metra and Chicago -- Making A Difference in Chicago

Transportation Center Rail Group (Sandhouse Gang) Meeting


DONALD A. ORSENO,   Executive Director, Metra   and   BILL THOMPSON, CREATE Railroad Program Manager, Association of American Railroads

 Metra and CREATE move forward with ambitious plans for the future.  In October 2014 the Metra Board of Directors approved the first long-term capital plan in Metra's 30-year history. Metra, Amtrak and Norfolk Southern celebrated the grand opening of the Englewood Flyover in October. CREATE announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Study for the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. This $1 billion plus project that will address a major rail congestion point in Chicago will have a significant impact on freight and Metra and Amtrak fluidity in Chicago.  Don Orseno, Metra's CEO and Bill Thompson, AAR's Vice President in charge of CREATE will address these and other issues and answer questions on the future direction of Metra and CREATE. 

Contact Info: Diana Marek

Location: Metra Headquarters, 547 W. Jackson Blvd, 13th fl Chicago

Event URL: http://www.transportation.northwestern.edu/

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Flexible Transit for Low-Density Communities

Transportation Seminar

SpeakerCharlotte Frei, PhD Candidate, Transportation Systems Analysis &; Planning, Civil &; Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University

Abstract: Demand for transport in low-density areas can be highly variable over time, and quality (or absence) of transit service may reinforce existing mode choices among travelers. Transit services that can flex with demand have been explored to address this variation. This paper describes a method to identify bus stop locations for a flexible service with characteristics of both fixed-route and demand-responsive transit. Once stops are identified, vehicle tours using actual origin-destination demand are constructed to evaluate relative operational efficiency. Simulations for a case study area in metropolitan Denver, Colorado and demand estimation results will be presented.  The methodology is appropriate to determine checkpoint locations and evaluate fleet allocation to structure flexible. The method can be extended to evaluate design of flexible transit in other low-density area; such future extensions will be discussed, particularly in the context of evolving vehicle technology and customer service expectations.

 Bio:   Charlotte Frei is a PhD Candidate in Transportation Systems Analysis and Planning at Northwestern University. Her research interests include travel behavior and public transit, with emphasis on topics related to transit mode choice. Charlotte earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Contact Info: Diana Marek

Location: Chambers Hall 600 Foster St Ruan Conference Center - lower level Evanston IL 60208

Event URL: http://www.transportation.northwestern.edu/

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Developing an Integrated Transportation Infrastructure Decision Support Platform

Speaker:   Meead Saberi, Assistant Professor, Transportation Group, Monash University (Australia)  NU PhD 2013 (CEE)

This presentation introduces an integrated transportation infrastructure decision support platform which is being developed at Monash University, Australia. The vision is to develop a fully integrated system that integrates with real-time data, takes advantage of big data and various ICT technologies, and provides a fully connected modeling environment. The presentation focuses on interactive visualization of big and open data as a key component of the decision support platform. Several interactive data visualizations on population, socio-demographic, and safety characteristics of Melbourne will be presented.

 BIO:  Dr. Meead Saberi received his PhD degree (2013) in Transportation Systems Analysis and Planning from Northwestern University, USA. He also holds a Master's degree (2010) in Transportation Engineering from Portland State University, USA and a Bachelor's degree (2008) in Civil Engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. The focus of his PhD dissertation was on understanding the properties and dynamics of large-scale urban network traffic flow. Viewing urban travel demand from a macroscopic perspective, he demonstrated that urban transportation networks behave similar to many other aggregated dynamical physical systems. In 2013, he was appointed as a "Young Member" of the Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics Committee (AHB45) of the Transportation Research Board of the USA National Academies. In 2014, he joined the Transport group at Monash University. He is leading the City Science Research Group focusing on improving scientific understanding of cities.

Contact Info: Diana Marek

Location: Chambers Hall 600 Foster St Ruan Conference Center - Lower Level Evanston IL 60208

Event URL: http://www.transportation.northwestern.edu/

Thursday, January 29, 2015

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

An efficient data-driven approach to static and dynamic ambulance location for emergency medical srv

Speaker:   Lavanya Marla, Asst. Professor, Industrial &; Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract:   We present an efficient, data-driven computational approach to ambulance deployment for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems. Central to our approach is the use of simulation to accurately determine the impact of ambulance deployments to a given distribution of emergency requests. Our simulator allows us to directly measure a wide range of metrics (e.g., the number of requests serviced within 15 minutes, or the opportunity cost of abandonment) while accounting for complex interdependencies (e.g., from overlapping requests). It also allows the capture of non-stationary or transient effects that cannot be captured easily using analytical models.

Leveraging our simulator, we present a computational approach to ambulance fleet allocation and dynamic redeployment, where the goal is to position ambulances to bases to maximize the systems service level. Despite the combinatorial complexity, we show that a simple and efficient greedy algorithm produces good solutions, and can be repeatedly employed in real-time for dynamic repositioning. We derive data-driven performance guarantees with provably small optimality gap for our approach in practical settings. Our data-driven analysis is general and can be applied to range of simulators that exhibit more (or less) realism than the simulator employed in our empirical evaluations { the key requirement is the ability to efficiently compute the behavior of an omniscient policy with perfect information regarding future requests. We conduct simulation experiments based on real usage data of an EMS system from a large Asian city, and demonstrate significant improvement in the system's service levels using static allocations and redeployment policies discovered by our approach.


Contact Info: Diana Marek

Location: Chambers Hall 600 Foster St Ruan Conference Ctr., Lower Level Evanston IL 60208

Event URL: http://www.transportation.northwestern.edu/