May 21: Sustainability & Computer Science Seminar

"Modeling and Optimization for City Bike Sharing Systems" by Robert C. Hampshire, Assistant Professor of Operations Research and Public Policy in Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College .

Vehicle sharing programs -- particularly bike sharing programs -- are an emerging mode of transportation enabled by smartcards, smartphones and web technology. Bike sharing programs hope to reduce the number of cars on the roads, hence reducing congestion; they promote healthy living and are environmentally friendly. Over 100 cities worldwide have deployed bike sharing programs. In Paris alone, over 50 million trips have been taken with the bike sharing system in two years. The largest is the Velib program in Paris, which facilitates over 70,000 bikes trips per day using 20,000 bikes and 1500 bike stations spread throughout the city. In the US, Washington D.C., Denver and Minneapolis currently have bike sharing programs. New York City, Boston and San Francisco have announced intentions to start a program. We have built an infrastructure that is collecting real-time usage data on 51 bike sharing programs around the world. This includes the logging of over 200,000 events per day. A summary of the data is available and being used by policy makers at the website:

This talk considers some of the operational challenges of balancing bike availability, citizen satisfaction and operating costs. The analysis is difficult due to the large size of the system and random spatial-temporal usage patterns. We use Markov Chain theory and asymptotic approximations to develop a spatial queuing model for large scale bike/car sharing services. This model will serve as input to algorithms and a software navigation system that provides real time instructions to a fleet of vehicles to redistribute bicycles.

Robert Hampshire is an Assistant Professor of Operations Research & Public Policy at the H John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University. His research focuses on management, modeling, and optimization of services. Particularly, he focuses on IT enabled Mobility services, communication services and distributed web services. Mobility services include Smart Parking and bike/car sharing. Communication services include call centers, bandwidth exchanges and Web conferencing. Web services include Person-2-Person lending, wikis and blogs.

He uses both using both non steady state stochastic modeling and dynamic optimization to develop management strategies.

Prior to coming to Carnegie Mellon, Hampshire worked at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies, Compaq Computers and VLSI Technology. He has patents in the areas of IT asset portfolio management and supply chain risk management.

2:00 pm in Gates & Hillman 6115 (CMU's big new building, downhill from Walking To The Sky)

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