Seminar: Self-Coordinating Buses

The Logistics and Distribution Institute at the University of Louisville is pleased to announce a seminar by Dr. John J. Bartholdi III from Georgia Tech entitled, “Self-coordinating Buses Improve Service.” The talk will include an interesting description of a real problem, an elegant solution, and details of an implementation in a real bus system! (For more information, please see the project website.) Please join us!

Location: Vogt Building, Room 311. (Parking is available at the Speed Museum Garage, the lot on 4th and Cardinal by Kurz Hall as well as other locations throughout Campus.)

Date & Time: Thursday, March 5, 3:00-4:00pm.

Speaker: Dr. John J. Bartholdi III, Manhattan Associates Chair of Supply Chain Management, Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

Title: Self-Coordinating Buses Improve Service

AbstractThe main challenge for an urban bus system is to maintain constant headways between successive buses. Most bus systems try to ad- here to a schedule, but the natural dynamics of the system tend to collapse headways so that buses travel in bunches. We have devised a method of coordinating buses that abandons the idea of a target schedule or even any target headway and instead allows equal headways to emerge spontaneously. Our scheme is based on the designation of certain stops, such as ends of the route, as “check points”, at which we may require a bus to pause briefly. The duration of the pause is computed from the estimated time until the next bus. Under very general conditions headways tend to equalize, and without direction by management or intention or even awareness of the drivers. Our scheme is currently controlling buses on the Georgia Tech campus.

Bio: Dr. Bartholdi is a Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is Director of Global Research at The Supply Chain and Logistics Institute and holds the Manhattan Associates Chair of Supply Chain Management. He teaches courses in supply chain issues at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and in Georgia Tech’s program of industry short courses. Dr. Bartholdi’s research centers on problems of warehousing and distribution; but he reserves some time to publish on wider-ranging interests, including public transit systems, structural mechanics, voting, geography, computer science and biology. He is co-author of the book Warehouse & Distribution Science. He is also a founder of the Wine Supply Chain Council.

Dr. Bartholdi has been honored to hold additional appointments as Professor Extraordinary of Operations Research in the Department of Logistics, Universiteit Stellenbosch, South Africa, and as Academic Leader in Industrial Engineering at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico.

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