Network Science-based Analysis of the US Marine Highway Network and a Random Graph Model for the Intermodal Port Network

Marine highways in the US correspond to navigable waterways that run closer to major interstate roads in the country. Unlike the US Interstate road network and the airport network, the US marine highway network (MHN) and the US marine intermodal port network (MIPN) have not been analyzed and no results have been so far reported in the literature. The study team models the MHN as a graph whose vertices correspond to the marine highways and there exists an edge between two vertices if the corresponding marine highways intersect each other. The study team proposes to analyze the MHN using algorithms for community detection, cluster analysis and centrality assessment to identify the critical marine highways and their intersection points (intermodal ports) that could potentially be a bottleneck whose capacities need to be enhanced. Each marine highway serves one or more inland ports and/or coastal ports that are equipped for intermodal transportation. To avoid traffic congestion, especially in scenarios of evacuation, the study team would prefer not to overload any particular intermodal port across a marine highway. From a Network Science standpoint, no port in an MIPN will be overloaded if the MIPN exhibits the characteristics of a random network. The study team proposes to build an MIPN of the US marine intermodal ports such that two ports are connected (i.e., a marine transport service could be deployed between the two ports) if the "waterway distance" between the ports through the marine highways is within a threshold. Such a marine transport service could ease the existing congestion in the interstates and rail roads between the two intermodal ports/cities. In this pursuit, the study team proposes to develop a binary search algorithm to determine the smallest possible value for the threshold waterway distance contributing to a random network-like MIPN topology (referred to as US-MIPNrand).


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $82500
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center

      University of Arkansas
      Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
    • Performing Organizations:

      Jackson State University, Jackson

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Jackson, MS  United States  39217-0168
    • Principal Investigators:

      Meghanathan, Natarajan

    • Start Date: 20211101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20230930
    • Actual Completion Date: 20231130
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01790428
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Dec 6 2021 2:14PM