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See detailOn the Event-based Attack-tolerant Control: A Polytopic Representation
Bezzaoucha, Souad UL; Voos, Holger UL

in Bezzaoucha, Souad (Ed.) International Conference on Automation, Control and Robots (2019, October)

In the present contribution, we present a new event-based control representation. Based on the polytopic approach, more specifically the sector nonlinear transformation, an event-based attack-tolerant ... [more ▼]

In the present contribution, we present a new event-based control representation. Based on the polytopic approach, more specifically the sector nonlinear transformation, an event-based attack-tolerant control, and scheduling co-design strategy are proposed. From the event triggering definition (sample-and-hold strategy), polytopic writing of the event-triggered feedback control is first presented and then incorporated into the system dynamics for analysis. Our goal is to present a unique model that is able to deal with the co-design problem simultaneously and that can be handled by classical control synthesis tools. The novel representation, including data deception and attack tolerant control is formulated as a BMI optimization problem ensuring both stability and some level performance requirements (L2 attenuation of the cyber-attack). [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous State and False-Data Injection Attacks Reconstruction for NonLinear Systems: an LPV Approach
Bezzaoucha, Souad UL; Voos, Holger UL

in Bezzaoucha, Souad (Ed.) International Conference on Automation, Control and Robots (2019, October)

The present contribution addresses simultaneous state and actuator/sensor false-data injection attacks reconstruction for nonlinear systems. The considered actuator/sensor attacks are modeled as time ... [more ▼]

The present contribution addresses simultaneous state and actuator/sensor false-data injection attacks reconstruction for nonlinear systems. The considered actuator/sensor attacks are modeled as time-varying parameters with a multiplicative effect on the actuator input signal and the sensor output signal, respectively. Based on the sector non-linearity approach and the convex polytopic transformation, the nonlinear model is written in a Linear Parameter-Varying (LPV) form, then an observer allowing both state and attack reconstruction is designed by solving an LMI optimization problem. [less ▲]

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See detailA comparison between conventional Earth Observation Satellites and CubeSats; Requirements, Capabilities and Data Quality
Backes, Dietmar UL; Hassani, Saif Alislam UL; Teferle, Felix Norman UL et al

Scientific Conference (2019, September 11)

From its early beginning as an educational tool in 1999, cubesats have evolved into a popular platform for technology demonstrations and scientific instruments. Ideas and innovations sparked from an ... [more ▼]

From its early beginning as an educational tool in 1999, cubesats have evolved into a popular platform for technology demonstrations and scientific instruments. Ideas and innovations sparked from an enthusiastic community led to the development of new Earth Observation (EO) technology concepts based on large constellations of satellites with high-resolution optical imagers previously considered as infeasible. Probably the most significant constellation today is deployed by Planet who are currently operating a fleet larger than 120 3U Dove satellites, which provide an imaging service with up to 3m Ground Sample Distance (GSD). The number of low-cost EO Cubesat systems is constantly increasing. However, for a number of reasons there still seems to be a reluctance to use such data for many EO applications. A better understanding of the capabilities of the current generation of small Cubesats compared to the traditional well-established bigger operational missions of high and medium resolution EO satellites is required. What are the critical capabilities and quality indicators? Due to the limited size and weight of Cubesats, critical system components, e.g. for navigation and communication, always compete with operational payloads such as optical camera/sensor systems. A functional EO system requires balanced payload, which provides adequate navigational capabilities, that match the requirements of the optical imagers (camera) deployed with the system. This study reviews the current performance and capabilities of Cubesats for optical EO and compares them to the capabilities of conventional, dedicated high and medium resolution EO systems. We summarise key performance parameters and quality indicators to evaluate the difference between the systems. An empirical study compares recent very high-resolution (VHR) imagery from big EO satellite missions with available images from Cubesats for the use case in disaster monitoring. Small and agile Nanosatellites or Cubesats already show remarkable performance. Although it is not expected that their performance and capability will match those of current bigger EO satellite missions, they are expected to provide a valuable tool for EO and remote sensing, in particular for downstream industry applications. [less ▲]

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See detailFusing the Seth-Hill strain tensors to fit compressible elastic material responses in the nonlinear regime
Beex, Lars UL

in International Journal of Mechanical Sciences (2019), 163

Strain energy densities based on the Seth-Hill strain tensors are often used to describe the hyperelastic mechanical behaviours of isotropic, transversely isotropic and orthotropic materials for ... [more ▼]

Strain energy densities based on the Seth-Hill strain tensors are often used to describe the hyperelastic mechanical behaviours of isotropic, transversely isotropic and orthotropic materials for relatively large deformations. Since one parameter distinguishes which strain tensor of the Seth-Hill family is used, one has in theory the possibility to t the material response in the nonlinear regime. Most often for compressible deformations however, this parameter is selected such that the Hencky strain tensor is recovered, because it yields rather physical stress-strain responses. Hence, the response in the nonlinear regime is in practise not often tailored to match experimental data. To ensure that elastic responses in the nonlinear regime can more accurately be controlled, this contribution proposes three generalisations that combine several Seth-Hill strain tensors. The generalisations are formulated such that the stress-strain responses for in finitesimal deformations remain unchanged. Consequently, the identifi cation of the Young's moduli, Poisson's ratios and shear moduli is not a ffected. 3D fi nite element simulations are performed for isotropy and orthotropy, with an emphasis on the identifi cation of the new material parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailRobotic Trajectory Tracking: Position- and Force-Control
Klecker, Sophie UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

This thesis employs a bottom-up approach to develop robust and adaptive learning algorithms for trajectory tracking: position and torque control. In a first phase, the focus is put on the following of a ... [more ▼]

This thesis employs a bottom-up approach to develop robust and adaptive learning algorithms for trajectory tracking: position and torque control. In a first phase, the focus is put on the following of a freeform surface in a discontinuous manner. Next to resulting switching constraints, disturbances and uncertainties, the case of unknown robot models is addressed. In a second phase, once contact has been established between surface and end effector and the freeform path is followed, a desired force is applied. In order to react to changing circumstances, the manipulator needs to show the features of an intelligent agent, i.e. it needs to learn and adapt its behaviour based on a combination of a constant interaction with its environment and preprogramed goals or preferences. The robotic manipulator mimics the human behaviour based on bio-inspired algorithms. In this way it is taken advantage of the know-how and experience of human operators as their knowledge is translated in robot skills. A selection of promising concepts is explored, developed and combined to extend the application areas of robotic manipulators from monotonous, basic tasks in stiff environments to complex constrained processes. Conventional concepts (Sliding Mode Control, PID) are combined with bio-inspired learning (BELBIC, reinforcement based learning) for robust and adaptive control. Independence of robot parameters is guaranteed through approximated robot functions using a Neural Network with online update laws and model-free algorithms. The performance of the concepts is evaluated through simulations and experiments. In complex freeform trajectory tracking applications, excellent absolute mean position errors (<0.3 rad) are achieved. Position and torque control are combined in a parallel concept with minimized absolute mean torque errors (<0.1 Nm). [less ▲]

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See detailHigh Performance Parallel Coupling of OpenFOAM+XDEM
Besseron, Xavier UL; Pozzetti, Gabriele; Rousset, Alban UL et al

Presentation (2019, June 21)

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See detailAutomated optimisation of stem cell-derived neuronal cell culture in three dimensional microfluidic device
Kane, Khalid Ibnou Walid UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

This dissertation is a compilation of publications and manuscripts that aim 1) to integrate an automated platform optimised for long term in vitro cell culture maintenance for Parkinson’s disease, long ... [more ▼]

This dissertation is a compilation of publications and manuscripts that aim 1) to integrate an automated platform optimised for long term in vitro cell culture maintenance for Parkinson’s disease, long term live cell imaging and the handling of many cell lines, 2) to combine physics principles with imaging techniques to optimise the seeding of Matrigel embedded human neuroepithelial stem cells into a three-dimensional microfluidic device, and 3) to combine engineering principles with cell biology to optimise the design of a three-dimensional microfluidic system based on phaseguide technology. In the first publication manuscript, we investigated Matrigel as a surrogate extracellular matrix in three-dimensional cell culture systems, including microfluidic cell culture. The study aimed at understanding and characterising the properties of Matrigel. Using classical rheological measurements of Matrigel (viscosity versus shear rate) in combination with fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent beads for particle image velocimetry measurements (velocity profiles), the shear rates experienced by cells in a microfluidic device for three-dimensional cell culture was characterised. We discussed how the result of which helped to mechanically optimise the use of Matrigel in microfluidic systems to minimise the shear stress experienced by cells during seeding in a microchannel. The second manuscript proposes a methodology to passively control the flow of media in a three-dimensional microfluidic channel. We used the fluid dynamic concept of similitude to dynamically replicate cerebral blood flow in a rectangular cross-sectional microchannel. This similarity model of a target cell type and a simple fluid flow mathematical prediction model was used to iterate the most optimum dimensions within some manufacturing constraints to adapt the design of the OrganoPlate, a cell culture plate fully compatible with laboratory automation, which allowed its re-dimension to achieve over 24h of flow for the culture of human neuroepithelial stem cells into midbrain specific dopaminergic neurons. In the third publication manuscript, we propose an automated cell culture platform optimised for long-term maintenance and monitoring of different cells in three-dimensional microfluidic cell culture devices. The system uses Standard in Laboratory Automation or SiLA, an open source standardisation which allows rapid software integration of laboratory automation hardware. The automation platform can be flexibly adapted to various experimental protocols and features time-lapse imaging microscopy for quality control and electrophysiology monitoring to assess cellular activity. It was biologically validated by differentiating Parkinson’s disease patient derived human neuroepithelial stem cells into midbrain specific dopaminergic neurons. This system is the first example of an automated Organ-on-a-Chip culture and has the potential to enable a versatile array of in vitro experiments for patient-specific disease modelling. Finally, the fourth manuscript initiates the assessment of the neuronal activity of induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons from Parkinson’s Disease patients with LRRK2-G2019S mutations and isogenic controls. A novel image analysis pipeline that combined semi-automated neuronal segmentation and quantification of calcium transient properties was developed and used to analyse neuronal firing activity. It was found that LRRK2-G2019S mutants have shortened inter-spike intervals and an increased rate of spontaneous calcium transient induction than control cell lines. [less ▲]

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See detailIsotropic–isotropic phase separation and spinodal decomposition in liquid crystal–solvent mixtures
Reyes, Catherine UL; Baller, Jörg UL; Araki, Takeaki et al

in Soft Matter (2019), 15

Phase separation in mixtures forming liquid crystal (LC) phases is an important yet under- appreciated phenomenon that can drastically influence the behaviour of a multi-component LC. Here we demonstrate ... [more ▼]

Phase separation in mixtures forming liquid crystal (LC) phases is an important yet under- appreciated phenomenon that can drastically influence the behaviour of a multi-component LC. Here we demonstrate, using polarising microscopy with active cooling as well as differential scanning calorimetry, that the phase diagram for mixtures of the LC-forming compound 4’-n- pentylbiphenyl-4-carbonitrile (5CB) with ethanol is surprisingly complex. Binary mixtures reveal a broad miscibility gap that leads to phase separation between two distinct isotropic phases via spinodal decomposition or nucleation and growth. On further cooling the nematic phase enters on the 5CB-rich side, adding to the complexity. Significantly, water contamination dramatically raises the temperature range of the miscibility gap, bringing up the critical temperature for spinodal de- composition from ∼ 2◦C for the anhydrous case to > 50◦C if just 3 vol.% water is added to the ethanol. We support the experiments with a theoretical treatment that qualitatively reproduces the phase diagrams as well as the transition dynamics, with and without water. Our study highlights the impact of phase separation in LC-forming mixtures, spanning from equilibrium coexistence of multiple liquid phases to non-equilibrium effects due to persistent spatial concentration gradients. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear Observation and Control of a Lightweight Robotic Manipulator Actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Wires
Quintanar Guzman, Serket UL

Doctoral thesis (2019)

In the last decade, the industry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has gone through immense growth and diversification. Nowadays, we find drone based applications in a wide range of industries, such as ... [more ▼]

In the last decade, the industry of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has gone through immense growth and diversification. Nowadays, we find drone based applications in a wide range of industries, such as infrastructure, agriculture, transport, among others. This phenomenon has generated an increasing interest in the field of aerial manipulation. The implementation of aerial manipulators in the UAV industry could generate a significant increase in possible applications. However, the restriction on the available payload is one of the main setbacks of this approach. The impossibility to equip UAVs with heavy dexterous industrial robotic arms has driven the interest in the development of lightweight manipulators suitable for these applications. In the pursuit of providing an alternative lightweight solution for the aerial manipulators, this thesis proposes a lightweight robotic arm actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) wires. Although SMA wires represent a great alternative to conventional actuators for lightweight applications, they also imply highly nonlinear dynamics, which makes them difficult to control. Seeking to present a solution for the challenging task of controlling SMA wires, this work investigates the implications and advantages of the implementation of state feedback control techniques. The final aim of this study is the experimental implementation of a state feedback control for position regulation of the proposed lightweight robotic arm. Firstly, a mathematical model based on a constitutive model of the SMA wire is developed and experimentally validated. This model describes the dynamics of the proposed lightweight robotic arm from a mechatronics perspective. The proposed robotic arm is tested with three output feedback controllers for angular position control, namely a PID, a Sliding Mode and an Adaptive Controller. The controllers are tested in a MATLAB simulation and finally implemented and experimentally tested in various different scenarios. Following, in order to perform the experimental implementation of a state feedback control technique, a state and unknown input observer is developed. First, a non-switching observable model with unknown input of the proposed robotic arm is derived from the model previously presented. This model takes the martensite fraction rate of the original model as an unknown input, making it possible to eliminate the switching terms in the model. Then, a state and unknown input observer is proposed. This observer is based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) for state estimation and sliding mode approach for unknown input estimation. Sufficient conditions for stability and convergence are established. The observer is tested in a MATLAB simulation and experimentally validated in various different scenarios. Finally, a state feedback control technique is tested in simulation and experimentally implemented for angular position control of the proposed lightweight robotic arm. Specifically, continuous and discrete-time State-Dependent Riccati Equation (SDRE) control laws are derived and implemented. To conclude, a quantitative and qualitative comparative analysis between an output feedback control approach and the implemented state feedback control is carried out under multiple scenarios, including position regulation, position tracking and tracking with changing payloads. [less ▲]

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See detailA real time hybrid controller for regulating bus operations and reducing stops at signals
Laskaris, Georgios UL; Seredynski, Marcin; Viti, Francesco UL

Scientific Conference (2019, June)

We propose a hybrid controller which consists of holding and a Driver Advisory System (DAS). It combines the objectives of seeking the regularization of operation and the reduction of stop and go actions ... [more ▼]

We propose a hybrid controller which consists of holding and a Driver Advisory System (DAS). It combines the objectives of seeking the regularization of operation and the reduction of stop and go actions at signalized intersections. A simple headway based holding criterion is applied at stops to define the time needed to maintain even spaced headways between buses and additionally a speed recommendation is given to traverse during green indication at the downstream signalized intersection. The controller is tested using simulation for a bus line of the city of Luxembourg, Luxembourg and compared to a benchmark scenario, the single application of bus holding, two advisory systems and different levels of transit signal priority. Results show that there are additional benefits compared to traditional holding in terms of regularity while similar performance to strong transit signal priority is achieved in terms of time spent at traffic lights. [less ▲]

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See detailMixed hybrid and electric bus dynamic fleet management in urban networks: a model predictive control approach
Rinaldi, Marco UL; Picarelli, Erika UL; D'Ariano, Andrea et al

Scientific Conference (2019, June)

Abstract—Reducing pollutant emissions and promoting sustainable mobility solutions, including Public Transport, are increasingly becoming key objectives for policymakers worldwide. In order to jointly ... [more ▼]

Abstract—Reducing pollutant emissions and promoting sustainable mobility solutions, including Public Transport, are increasingly becoming key objectives for policymakers worldwide. In order to jointly achieve these goals, careful consideration should be put on the operational cost and management of PT services, in order to promote the adoption of green mobility solutions and advanced management techniques by operators. In this work we develop a dynamic fleet management approach for next generation Public Transportation systems, considering the instance of mixed electric / hybrid fleet. Our objective is that of investigating to what extent electrification, coupled with optimal fleet management, can yield operational cost savings for PT operators, explicitly considering real-time disturbances, including delays, service disruptions etc. We propose a Mixed Integer Linear Program to address the problem of optimal scheduling of a mixed fleet of electric and hybrid / non-electric buses, and employ it as predictor in a Model Predictive Control approach. Test results based upon a real-life scenario showcase how the proposed approach is indeed capable of yielding a sizable reduction in operational costs, even when considerable disturbances arise from the underlying system. [less ▲]

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See detailDesigning collaborative scenarios on tangible tabletop interfaces - insights from the implementation of paper prototypes in the context of a multidisciplinary design workshop
Sunnen, Patrick UL; Arend, Béatrice UL; Heuser, Svenja UL et al

in Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: The International Venue on Practice-centred Computing and the Design of Cooperation Technologies - Exploratory Papers, Reports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (2019, June)

Within the context of the research project ORBIT (Overcoming Breakdowns in Teams with Interactive Tabletops), we design and study a joint problem-solving activity at an interactive tabletop, that gives ... [more ▼]

Within the context of the research project ORBIT (Overcoming Breakdowns in Teams with Interactive Tabletops), we design and study a joint problem-solving activity at an interactive tabletop, that gives participants the opportunity to develop their collaboration methods. To gain design insights for the development of a scenario soliciting participants to collaborate, we set up a multidisciplinary design workshop. During the latter, we explored and discussed three different collaborative scenarios, implemented as paper prototypes. In this paper, we report on first results gained from an exploratory analysis of the video data that was recorded in the context of this workshop. [less ▲]

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See detailSupply characteristics and membership choice in round-trip and free-floating carsharing systems
Cisterna, Carolina UL; Giorgione, Giulio UL; Cipriani, Ernesto et al

Scientific Conference (2019, June)

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See detailEstimating fibres' material parameter distributions from limited data with the help of Bayesian inference
Rappel, Hussein UL; Beex, Lars UL

in European Journal of Mechanics. A, Solids (2019), 75

Numerous materials are essentially structures of discrete fibres, yarns or struts. Considering these materials at their discrete scale, one may distinguish two types of intrinsic randomness that affect ... [more ▼]

Numerous materials are essentially structures of discrete fibres, yarns or struts. Considering these materials at their discrete scale, one may distinguish two types of intrinsic randomness that affect the structural behaviours of these discrete structures: geometrical randomness and material randomness. Identifying the material randomness is an experimentally demanding task, because many small fibres, yarns or struts need to be tested, which are not easy to handle. To avoid the testing of hundreds of constituents, this contribution proposes an identification approach that only requires a few dozen of constituents to be tested (we use twenty to be exact). The identification approach is applied to articially generated measurements, so that the identified values can be compared to the true values. Another question this contribution aims to answer is how precise the material randomness needs to be identified, if the geometrical randomness will also influence the macroscale behaviour of these discrete networks. We therefore also study the effect of the identified material randomness to that of the actual material randomness for three types of structures; each with an increasing level of geometrical randomness. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a high-resolution drone-based 3D mapping dataset to optimise flood hazard modelling
Backes, Dietmar UL; Schumann, Guy; Teferle, Felix Norman UL et al

in International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (2019, June), XLII-2/W13

The occurrence of urban flooding following strong rainfall events may increase as a result of climate change. Urban expansion, ageing infrastructure and an increasing number of impervious surfaces are ... [more ▼]

The occurrence of urban flooding following strong rainfall events may increase as a result of climate change. Urban expansion, ageing infrastructure and an increasing number of impervious surfaces are further exacerbating flooding. To increase resilience and support flood mitigation, bespoke accurate flood modelling and reliable prediction is required. However, flooding in urban areas is most challenging. State-of-the-art flood inundation modelling is still often based on relatively low-resolution 2.5 D bare earth models with 2-5m GSD. Current systems suffer from a lack of precise input data and numerical instabilities and lack of other important data, such as drainage networks. Especially, the quality and resolution of the topographic input data represents a major source of uncertainty in urban flood modelling. A benchmark study is needed that defines the accuracy requirements for highly detailed urban flood modelling and to improve our understanding of important threshold processes and limitations of current methods and 3D mapping data alike. This paper presents the first steps in establishing a new, innovative multiscale data set suitable to benchmark urban flood modelling. The final data set will consist of high-resolution 3D mapping data acquired from different airborne platforms, focusing on the use of drones (optical and LiDAR). The case study includes residential as well as rural areas in Dudelange/Luxembourg, which have been prone to localized flash flooding following strong rainfall events in recent years. The project also represents a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the geospatial and flood modelling community. In this paper, we introduce the first steps to build up a new benchmark data set together with some initial flood modelling results. More detailed investigations will follow in the next phases of this project. [less ▲]

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See detailLeveraging GIS Data and Topological Information to Infer Trip Chaining Behaviour at Macroscopic Level
Carrese, Filippo; Fusco, Gaetano; Cantelmo, Guido et al

Scientific Conference (2019, June)

One of the open challenges in transport modelling is to estimate within-day demand flows that reflect the complexity of individual activity-travel behaviour. While disaggregate (Activity-Based) demand ... [more ▼]

One of the open challenges in transport modelling is to estimate within-day demand flows that reflect the complexity of individual activity-travel behaviour. While disaggregate (Activity-Based) demand models can recreate realistic daily mobility patterns at an individual level, they usually require an accurate knowledge of individual user behaviour (i.e. via travel surveys), which is not always available. As a result, practitioners often turn to aggregate demand models, that have the advantage of being less demanding in terms of data but typically under represent the demand for secondary activities. In this work, we take research on within-day demand modelling one step forward by proposing a framework that combines traditional methodologies with heterogeneous data sources in order to explicitly represent trip chaining at an aggregated level. We show that the combination of web-based crowd sensed data, network data and behavioural constraints allows to capture complex spatial and temporal correlations between demand patterns. The methodology is applied on the classical Gravity model to show how to incorporate within-day dynamics. Yet, any alternative demand model can be adopted. In our case, Generation and Attraction are used to estimate the systematic demand, that is enriched of information about individual activity patterns, and then a novel definition of impedance function based on Hagestraand ellipse theory plays a central role in spatially distributing locations of trips using geographic relationships and constraints deriving from space-time behaviour. A case study for Luxembourg City has been presented to show the potential of the methodology: the choice of using data from a different spatial context to account for the temporal dimension has been validated through comparisons with official statistics. The results of simulating a workplace relocation show the advantages of this new approach in representing demand related to secondary activities. [less ▲]

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See detailAvailability-based dynamic pricing on a round-trip carsharing service: an explorative analysis using agent-based simulation 
Giorgione, Giulio UL; Ciari, Francesco; Viti, Francesco UL

in Transportation Research Procedia (2019)

Carsharing companies aim to customize their service to increase fleet usage and revenues with different pricing schemes and offer types. Dynamic pricing policies can be designed to adjust and balance ... [more ▼]

Carsharing companies aim to customize their service to increase fleet usage and revenues with different pricing schemes and offer types. Dynamic pricing policies can be designed to adjust and balance temporally and spatially cars availability but may pose some question on customers’ fairness. In this paper, we propose an explorative analysis of how an availability-based dynamic pricing scheme impacts the demand and the supply performance. The policy is simulated in MATSim and compared to a fixed pricing policy scheme. This simulation consists of analyzing the behavior of a synthetic population of car-sharing members for Berlin and the surrounding region in which is applied an availability-based dynamic pricing in which price depends on vehicle availability in booking stations. Results show that when the dynamic pricing is applied there is a light decrease in the number of bookings and people with low value of time tend to abandon the carsharing mode in favor of other modes of transportation. [less ▲]

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