Route Planning for Enhanced Transportation Network Utilization: A System Optimization Approach for Route Planning in Advanced Traveler Information Systems

Motivation: In 1991, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) initiated a new program to address the needs of the emerging field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). In this program, computing the “optimal” route (or path) for a traveler to commute from a designated source to a destination in a transportation network 1 was identified as one of the main requirements of any Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS). Subsequently, numerous route planning solutions were introduced by the research community and adopted by industry products (e.g., vehicle navigation devices, and online map services such as Google Maps®) to address this need. Nowadays, such products have become hallmark of ITS in the general public’s view. While the literature on algorithms and systems designed for efficient and accurate route planning in large-scale transportation networks is extensive (see the Related Work Section below), to the best of knowledge all existing solutions focus on planning optimal routes for individual travelers. With this approach, “optimality” is defined based on a criterion (or criteria, in case of multi-criteria route planning) that captures best interest(s) of individual travelers (e.g., fastest route, shortest route, most scenic route, etc.) rather than those of the transportation network/system as a whole. Accordingly, each route is planned in a so-called “selfish” manner for each individual traveler without concern of how this might affect the overall utility of the transportation network for all travelers. Although popular, this definition of optimality is not necessarily aligned with the strategic goals of the USDOT, which demand optimal utilization of the transportation network in terms of performance measures such as mobility/throughput, overall travel quality, overall safety, and overall environmental sustainability. This proposal addresses this misalignment by introducing an alternative approach to route planning where optimality of the routes is defined based on their impact on overall utilization of the transportation network.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $99015.50
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    P.O. Box 6050, Department 2880
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering

    University of Colorado Denver
    Denver, CO  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Banaei-Kashani, Farnoush

  • Start Date: 20160721
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-517

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01607379
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2016 3:34PM