Resilience-based Operational Analytics of Transportation Infrastructure: A Data-driven  Approach for Smart Cities

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Virginia Tech


Studying recurrent mobility perturbations, such as traffic congestions, is a major concern of engineers, planners, and authorities as they not only bring about delay and inconvenience but also have consequent negative impacts like greenhouse gas emission, increase in fuel consumption, or safety issues. In this dissertation, we proposed using the resilience concept, which has been commonly used for assessing the impact of extreme events and disturbances on the transportation system, for high-probability low impact (HPLI) events to (a) provide a performance assessment framework for transportation systems' response to traffic congestions, (b) investigate the role of transit modes in the resilience of urban roadways to congestion, and (c) study the impact of network topology on the resilience of roadways functionality performance. We proposed a multi-dimensional approach to characterize the resilience of urban transportation roadways for recurrent congestions. The resilience concept could provide an effective benchmark for comparative performance and identifying the behavior of the system in the discharging process in congestion. To this end, we used a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach to integrate multiple resilience-oriented attributes to estimate the efficiency (resilience) of the frontier in roadways. Our results from an empirical study on California highways through the PeMS data have shown the potential of the multi-dimensional approach in increasing information gain and differentiating between the severity of congestion across a transportation network. Leveraging this resilience-based characterization of recurrent disruptions, in the second study, we investigated the role of multi-modal resourcefulness of urban transportation systems, in terms of diversity and equity, on the resilience of roadways to daily-based congestions. We looked at the physical infrastructure availability and distribution (i.e. diversity) and accessibility and coverage to capture socio-economic factors (i.e. equity) to more comprehensively understand the role of resourcefulness in resilience. We conducted this investigation by using a GPS dataset of taxi trips in the Washington DC metropolitan area in 2017. Our results demonstrated the strong correlation of trips' resilience with transportation equity and to a lesser extent with transportation diversity. Furthermore, we learned the impact of equity and diversity can mostly be seen at the recovery stage of resilience. In the third study, we looked at another aspect of transportation supply in urban areas, spatial configuration, and topology. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of network topology and configuration on resilience to congestion. We used OSMnx, a toolkit for street network analysis based on the data from OpenStreetMap, to model and analyze the urban roadways network configurations. We further employed a multidimensional visualization strategy using radar charts to compare the topology of street networks on a single graphic. Leveraging the geometric descriptors of radar charts, we used the compactness and Jaccard Index to quantitatively compare the topology profiles. We use the same taxi trips dataset used in the second study to characterize resilience and identify the correlation with network topology. The results indicated a strong correlation between resilience and betweenness centrality, diameter, and Page Rank among other features of a transportation network. We further looked at the capacity of roadways as a common cause for the strong correlation between network features and resilience. We found that the strong correlation of link-related features such as diameter could be due to their role in capacity and have a common cause with resilience.



Resilience, Resourcefulness, Diversity, Equity, Network topology, Taxicab GPS data, Data Envelopment Analysis