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A methodology for passenger-centred rail network optimisation

Hickish, Bob (2019) A methodology for passenger-centred rail network optimisation. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Bob Hickish - Thesis - A methodology for passenger-centred rail network optimisation.pdf
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Optimising the allocation of limited resources, be they existing assets or investment, is an ongoing challenge for rail network managers. Recently, methodologies have been developed for optimising the timetable from the passenger perspective. However, there is a gap for a decision support tool which optimises rail networks for maximum passenger satisfaction, captures the experience of individual passengers and can be adapted to different networks and challenges. Towards building such a tool, this thesis develops a novel methodology referred to as the Sheffield University Passenger Rail Experience Maximiser (SUPREME) framework. First, a network assessment metric is developed which captures the multi-stage nature of individual passenger journeys as well as the effect of crowding upon passenger satisfaction. Second, an agent-based simulation is developed to capture individual passenger journeys in enough detail for the network assessment metric to be calculated. Third, for the optimisation algorithm within SUPREME, the Bayesian Optimisation method is selected following an experimental investigation which indicates that it is well suited for ‘expensive-to-compute’ objective functions, such as the one found in SUPREME. Finally, in case studies that include optimising the value engineering strategy of the proposed UK High Speed Two network when saving £5 billion initial investment costs, the SUPREME framework is found to improve network performance by the order of 10%. This thesis shows that the SUPREME framework can find ‘good’ resource allocations for a ‘reasonable’ computational cost, and is sufficiently adaptable for application to many rail network challenges. This indicates that a decision support tool developed on the SUPREME framework could be widely applied by network managers to improve passenger experience and increase ticket revenue. Novel contributions made by this thesis are: the SUPREME methodology, an international comparison between the Journey Time Metric and Disutility Metric, and the application of the Bayesian Optimisation method for maximising the performance of a rail network.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Mechanical Engineering (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Bob Hickish
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2020 14:11
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2020 14:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26063

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