Enterprise-wide simulation and analytic modeling of freight movements
This research is designed to study the effects of highly developed information technologies and logistic strategies on freight transportation. A simulation model called TTMNet is formulated as a multi-level product supply chain system that integrates the financial, informational, logistic, and physical aspects of transportation networks, to address freight transportation problems within a much broader decisionmaking and policy sensitive environment. It simulates freight movement in a regional supply chain, given real-time information, to help understand the mechanisms or principles followed by system operation, freight flow patterns, and evolution and interaction of prices and costs across the networks over time. TTMNet is implemented using micro-simulation techniques and GIS tools, and several simulators are involved, including a dynamic freight traffic simulator, a supply chain decision making simulator, and a real-time information simulator.
The construction of a prototype dynamic freight traffic simulation model called DyFTS is the focus of this research. DyFTS is designed as a discrete event simulation system, highly adaptable to more comprehensive transportation simulation models. Various decision-making processes are formulated within DyFTS, such as goods-to-vehicle assignment, departure time choice and pre-trip routing, and en-route vehicle redirection. Descriptive real-time traffic information is simulated to study its influence on freight traffic operations. A knowledge-based learning process is established to refine the perceptions of decision-makers to the transportation network based on past experience. The inclusion of the simulation of regional ITS system makes the DyFTS a powerful tool to evaluate the information.
A preliminary study is conducted herein to construct an integrated logistic and transportation system, a simplified version of TTMNet. It simulates enterprise-wide freight movements in a comprehensive product supply chain system that integrates the logistic, informational, and physical aspects of transportation networks.
The resulting simulation model developed in this dissertation can be applied widely in freight transportation industry, such as, the study of commercial vehicle operations with and without real-time information, freight transportation of different delivery time requirements and different fleet configurations, and freight traffic patterns by product demand. It may also help direct or justify the development of real-time surface transportation information systems.
0546: Industrial engineering
0790: Systems design