Towards Improved Robustness of Public Transport by a Machine-Learned Oracle

Authors Matthias Müller-Hannemann , Ralf Rückert, Alexander Schiewe , Anita Schöbel

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Matthias Müller-Hannemann
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Ralf Rückert
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Alexander Schiewe
  • TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
Anita Schöbel
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Techno- und Wirtschaftsmathematik ITWM, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • TU Kaiserslautern, Germany

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Matthias Müller-Hannemann, Ralf Rückert, Alexander Schiewe, and Anita Schöbel. Towards Improved Robustness of Public Transport by a Machine-Learned Oracle. In 21st Symposium on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2021). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 96, pp. 3:1-3:20, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


The design and optimization of public transport systems is a highly complex and challenging process. Here, we focus on the trade-off between two criteria which shall make the transport system attractive for passengers: their travel time and the robustness of the system. The latter is time-consuming to evaluate. A passenger-based evaluation of robustness requires a performance simulation with respect to a large number of possible delay scenarios, making this step computationally very expensive. For optimizing the robustness, we hence apply a machine-learned oracle from previous work which approximates the robustness of a public transport system. We apply this oracle to bi-criteria optimization of integrated public transport planning (timetabling and vehicle scheduling) in two ways: First, we explore a local search based framework studying several variants of neighborhoods. Second, we evaluate a genetic algorithm. Computational experiments with artificial and close to real-word benchmark datasets yield promising results. In all cases, an existing pool of solutions (i.e., public transport plans) can be significantly improved by finding a number of new non-dominated solutions, providing better and different trade-offs between robustness and travel time.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Transportation
  • Public Transportation
  • Timetabling
  • Machine Learning
  • Robustness


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