Hybrid predictive control strategy for a public transport system with uncertain demand

Doris Sáez, Cristián E. Cortés, Freddy Milla, Alfredo Núñez, Alejandro Tirachini, Marcela Riquelme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, a hybrid predictive control (HPC) strategy is formulated for the real-time optimisation of a public transport system operation run using buses. For this problem, the hybrid predictive controller corresponds to the bus dispatcher, who dynamically provides the optimal control actions to the bus system to minimise users' total travel time (on-vehicle ride time plus waiting time at stops). The HPC framework includes a dynamic objective function and a predictive model of the bus system, written in discrete time, where events are triggered when a bus arrives at a bus stop. Upon these events, the HPC controller makes decisions based on two well-known real-time transit control actions, holding and expressing. Additionally, the uncertain passenger demand is included in the model as a disturbance and then predicted based on both offline and online information of passenger behaviour. The resulting optimisation problem of the HPC strategy at every event is Np-hard and needs an efficient algorithm to solve it in terms of computation time and accuracy. We chose an ad hoc implementation of a Genetic Algorithm that permits the proper management of the trade-off between these two aspects. For real-time implementation, the design of this HPC strategy considers newly available transport technology such as the availability of automatic passenger counters (APCs) and automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices. Illustrative simulations at 2, 5 and 10 steps ahead are conducted, and promising results showing the advantages of the real-time control schemes are reported and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages26
JournalTransportmetrica
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • holding
  • hybrid predictive control
  • public transport
  • station skipping

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