Robust transportation network design under demand uncertainty
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This article addresses the problem of a traffic network design problem (NDP) under demand uncertainty. The origin-destination trip matrices are taken as random variables with known probability distributions. Instead of finding optimal network design solutions for a given future scenario, we are concerned with solutions that are in some sense "good" for a variety of demand realizations. We introduce a definition of robustness accounting for the planner's required degree of robustness. We propose a formulation of the robust network design problem (RNDP) and develop a methodology based on genetic algorithm (GA) to solve the RNDP. The proposed model generates globally near-optimal network design solutions, f, based on the planner's input for robustness. The study makes two important contributions to the network design literature. First, robust network design solutions are significantly different from the deterministic NDPs and not accounting for them could potentially underestimate the network-wide impacts. Second, systematic evaluation of the performance of the model and solution algorithm is conducted on different test networks and budget levels to explore the efficacy of this approach. The results highlight the importance of accounting for robustness in transportation planning and the proposed approach is capable of producing high-quality solutions.
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