Reliability and Delay Distributions of Train Connections

Authors Mohammad H. Keyhani, Mathias Schnee, Karsten Weihe, Hans-Peter Zorn

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Mohammad H. Keyhani
Mathias Schnee
Karsten Weihe
Hans-Peter Zorn

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Mohammad H. Keyhani, Mathias Schnee, Karsten Weihe, and Hans-Peter Zorn. Reliability and Delay Distributions of Train Connections. In 12th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 25, pp. 35-46, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2012)


Finding reliable train connections is a considerable issue in timetable information since train delays perturb the timetable daily. We present an effective probabilistic approach for estimating the reliability of connections in a large train network. Experiments on real customer queries and real timetables for all trains in Germany show that our approach can be implemented to deliver good results at the expense of only little processing time. Based on probability distributions for train events in connections, we estimate the reliability of connections. We have analyzed our computed reliability ratings by validating our predictions against real delay data from German Railways. This study shows that we are able to predict the feasibility of connections very well. In essence, our predictions are slightly optimistic for connections with a high rating and pretty accurate for connections with a medium rating. Only for the rare cases of a very low rating, we are too pessimistic. Our probabilistic approach already delivers good results, still has improvement potential, and offers a new perspective in the search for more reliable connections in order to bring passengers safely to their destinations even in case of delays.
  • Stochastic Delay Propagation
  • Timetable Information
  • Connection Reliability


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