Uncertainty aware routing and active control for stochastic networks: application to road traffic

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Samitha Samaranayake, MIT

The uncertainty of travel times on urban roadways is a major source of frustration for commuters. While recurring congestion can be anticipated and planned for, by both individual commuters and planning agencies, dealing with unexpected traffic events (e.g. incidents) requires more careful analysis. In this talk, two strategies for improving the commuter experience in stochastic road networks will be discussed. The first is a proactive strategy for route planning that incorporates the underlying travel time uncertainty in the network. This routing strategy provides a solution that maximizes the probability of on-time arrival given a commuter's travel-time budget. Several theoretical and practical advancements are developed to obtain computationally efficient solutions that enable commercial applications. The second approach is a reactive strategy that dynamically re-routes traffic flow in response to unexpected events in the network. Once again, a computationally efficient framework is developed to solve the optimal re-route strategy in real-time. In both cases, experimental results on models of real-world road networks validate the effectiveness of the strategies.


Samitha Samaranayake is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT and a member of the Future Urban Mobility group of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). His current research focus is on the control of network cyber-physical systems with applications to Mobility-on-Demand. He completed his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2014, where he worked primarily on efficient algorithms for stochastic route planning and dynamic network flow allocation. Samitha received an S.B. in Computer Science, M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and an M.Sc. in Management Science and Engineering (Operations Research) from Stanford University. He has also worked in the database backup and recovery group at Oracle Corporation, the design for test (DFT) group at Synopsys Inc., the transit algorithms team at Google and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA). He is a recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.