Continuous Approximation Models with Temporal Constraints and Objectives

The purpose of this project is to discover new continuous approximation models for modern logistical problems in which time plays a significant role, with a specific focus on last‐mile delivery. Famous examples of such problems include the vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW) and the cumulative travelling salesperson problem (CTSP). The continuous approximation paradigm is a quantitative method for solving logistics problems in which one uses a small set of parameters to model a complex system, which results in simple algebraic equations that are easier to manage than (for example) large‐scale optimization models. As a further benefit, one often obtains insights from these simpler formulations that help to determine what affects the outcome most significantly. Although continuous approximation models have been used for over 60 years in logistics systems analysis, there has been very little research conducted on their use to problems with temporal features such as those described above. Based on our experience in this research area, this is likely because the addition of a time dimension complicates the problem in a way that is not readily accessible relative to classical models, which emphasize spatial aspects of modelling. However, our recent advances indicate that one can likely apply modern mathematical machinery to tackle these higher‐dimensional problems. This project will combine tools from geospatial optimization, computational geometry, and geometric probability theory to formulate new models that will enable practitioners and policy‐makers to solve these temporally‐constrained problems, and most importantly, to identify what features are most impactful in their real‐world application.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $100000
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC    20590

      Department of Transportation

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      METRANS Transportation Center

      University of Southern California
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Southern California, Los Angeles

      University Park Campus
      Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089
    • Principal Investigators:

      Carlsson, John

    • Start Date: 20221001
    • Expected Completion Date: 20230930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01854748
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
    • Contract Numbers: 9A3551747109
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Aug 16 2022 7:04PM