DEVELOPMENT OF A MIXED-FLOW OPTIMIZATION SYSTEM FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION IN URBAN NETWORKS
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In most metropolitan areas, an emergency evacuation may demand a potentially large number of evacuees to use transit systems or to walk over some distance to access their passenger cars. In the process of approaching designated pick-up points for evacuation, the massive number of pedestrians often incurs tremendous burden to vehicles in the roadway network. Hence, one critical issue in a multi-modal evacuation planning is the effective coordination of the vehicle and pedestrian flows by considering their complex interactions. The purpose of this research is to develop an integrated system that is capable of generating the optimal evacuation plan and reflecting the real-world network traffic conditions caused by the conflicts of these two types of flows. The first part of this research is an integer programming model designed to optimize the control plans for massive mixed pedestrian-vehicle flows within the evacuation zone. The proposed model, integrating the pedestrian and vehicle networks, can effectively account for their potential conflicts during the evacuation. The model can generate the optimal routing strategies to guide evacuees moving toward either their pick-up locations or parking areas and can also produce a responsive plan to accommodate the massive pedestrian movements. The second part of this research is a mixed-flow simulation tool that can capture the conflicts between pedestrians, between vehicles, and between pedestrians and vehicles in an evacuation network. The core logic of this simulation model is the Mixed-Cellular Automata (MCA) concept, which, with some embedded components, offers a realistic mechanism to reflect the competing and conflicting interactions between vehicle and pedestrian flows. This study is expected to yield the following contributions * Design of an effective framework for planning a multi-modal evacuation within metropolitan areas; * Development of an integrated mixed-flow optimization model that can overcome various modeling and computing difficulties in capturing the mixed-flow dynamics in urban network evacuation; * Construction and calibration of a new mixed-flow simulation model, based on the Cellular Automaton concept, to reflect various conflicting patterns between vehicle and pedestrian flows in an evacuation network.