Network Models In Evacuation Planning

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation addresses the development and analysis of optimization models for evacuation planning. Specifically we consider the cases of large-scale regional evacuation using household vehicles and hospital evacuation.

Since it is difficult to estimate the exact number of people evacuating, we first consider the case where the population size is uncertain. We review the methods studied in the literature, mainly the strategy of using a deterministic counterpart, i.e., a single deterministic parameter to represent the uncertain population, and we show that these methods are not very effective in generating a good traffic management strategy. We provide alternatives, where we describe some networks where an optimal policy exist independent of the demand realization and we propose some simple heuristics for more complex ones.

Next we consider the traffic management tools that can be generated from an evacuation plan. We start by introducing the cell transmission model with flow reduction. This model captures the flow reduction after the onset of congestion. We then discuss the management tools that can be extracted from this model. We also propose some simplification to the model formulation to enhance its tractability. A heuristic for generating a solution is also proposed, and its solution quality is analyzed.

Finally, we discuss the hospital evacuation problem where we develop an integer programming model that integrates the building evacuation with the transportation of patients. The impact of building evacuation capabilities on the transportation plan is investigated through the case of a large regional hospital case study. We also propose a decomposition scheme to improve the tractability of the integer program.

Cell Transmission Model (CTM), dynamic traffic assignment, evacuation planning, hospital evacuation