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Applications of Combinatorial Optimization, 2nd Edition by Vangelis Th. Paschos

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Chapter 6

Optimization Models for Transportation Systems Planning

6.1. Introduction

Quantitative approaches to transportation planning propose models that predict the demand for transferring passengers or goods in a given region, based on the socioeconomic characteristics of the population, on the industrial profile of the region, and on the levels of service between the origin and the destination provided by the transport infrastructure and services. The aim of descriptive trip demand models is to predict at what moment the trips start, the destinations, the modes used and the routes taken.

The theory and implementation of transportation demand planning models are weighty subjects, especially with regard to passenger trips in an urban region or zone. Applications to goods transfer planning problems are more recent and are strongly based on the results of work carried out for passenger transportation. In all cases, a large variety of econometric and optimization models and methods are used to formulate and calibrate models with the help of survey data. The transport planning process uses descriptive models in order to compare future scenarios with a reference scenario with the aim of obtaining directions regarding better solutions to adopt.

Optimization models have played a large role, since the 1970s, in the development of demand estimation models, in the choice of mode and route models, and in the development of efficient algorithms for obtaining numerical solutions. In this ...

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