1st International ICST Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques for Communications, Networks and Systems

Research Article

TOPSU - RDM a simulation platform for online railway delay management

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.SIMUTOOLS2008.2938,
        author={Andre Berger and Ralf Hoffmann and Ulf Lorenz and Sebastian Stiller},
        title={TOPSU - RDM a simulation platform for online railway delay management},
        proceedings={1st International ICST Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques for Communications, Networks and Systems},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={SIMUTOOLS},
        year={2010},
        month={5},
        keywords={Online Railway Delay Management Web-based Simulation PSPACE},
        doi={10.4108/ICST.SIMUTOOLS2008.2938}
    }
    
  • Andre Berger
    Ralf Hoffmann
    Ulf Lorenz
    Sebastian Stiller
    Year: 2010
    TOPSU - RDM a simulation platform for online railway delay management
    SIMUTOOLS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.SIMUTOOLS2008.2938
Andre Berger1,*, Ralf Hoffmann2,*, Ulf Lorenz3,*, Sebastian Stiller2,*
  • 1: University of Maastricht, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • 2: Technical University Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany
  • 3: Technical University Darmstadt, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany
*Contact email: a.berger@ke.unimaasl.nl, rhoffman@math.tuberlin._de, lorenz@mathematik.tudarmstadt._de, stiller@math.tu-berlin.de

Abstract

Delays in a railway network is a common problem that railway companies face in their daily operations. When a train gets delayed, it may either be beneficial to let a connecting train wait so that passengers in the delayed train do not miss their connection, or it may be beneficial to let the connecting train depart on time to avoid further delays. These decisions naturally depend on the global structure of the network and on the schedule. The railway delay management (RDM) problem (in a broad sense) is to decide which trains have to wait for connecting trains and which trains have to depart on time.

The offline version (i.e. when all delays are known in advance) is already NP-hard for very special networks. In this paper we show that the online railway delay management (ORDM) problem is PSPACE-hard, and we present TOPSU -- RDM, a simulation platform for evaluating and comparing different heuristics for the ORDM problem with stochastic delays. Our novel approach is to separate the actual simulation and the program that implements the decision making policy, thus enabling implementations of different heuristics to "compete" on the same instances and delay distributions. For RDM and other logistic planning processes, it is our goal to bridge the gap between theoretical models, which are accessible to theoretical analysis, but often too far away from practice, and the methods which are used in practice today, whose performance is almost impossible to measure.