Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Traffic Flow: Exploring Dynamic vs. Static Toll Pricing in a Traffic Network Simulation Model

October 5th, 2009 No comments

trafficflow1Client: CEE Prof. Abdelghani
Team:  Nora Shora, Laura Tatsch
Faculty advisor: Barr   Year: 2006
Documents: Final report (Word), final presentation (PPT)

Many cities across the world have experienced, and are currently experiencing, increased traffic on highways and urban networks.  At the same time, roads and highways have a limited capacity and are only capable of transporting a limited number of travelers. An increase in the number of travelers has increased all of the following factors associated with travel: travel time, number of stops, travel costs, delays, air pollution, accidents, and noise level.

Road pricing is one tactic used as an effective demand management strategy to reduce traffic congestion and improve performance during peak periods in many cities. In our simulation model of Knoxville, TN we added tolls to certain roads in the network in order to acquire data that would help us distinguish whether changing tolls during peak hours would improve average travel time. Read more…

Convenience Store Staff Scheduling

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Client: Towers Perrin, TeePee  Convenience Stores
Team: Eric Mentz, Greg Meurer
Faculty: Dr. Richard Barr      Year: 1995
Documents: Final report

Tee Pee is a United-States-based convenience store chain (renamed for confidentiality reasons) consisting of approximately 4000 stores. Tee Pee is in the process of developing a system for their individual store managers that would help them to adequately staff their stores based on cus­tomer flow and satisfaction.

The consultants at Towers Perrin formulated a manual model, which was developed into the Store Staffing Tool. We saw an opportunity to automate this model and develop an algorithm that would automatically assign employees to certain hours of the week, based on availability and competency. The resulting output of this algorithm not only shows the work schedule for the week; it also shows the staffing levels required, the total number of labor hours needed during the week, the overall labor cost of running that store for one week, and it highlights which employees are not being  used adequately. Read more…

MCI Private Network Model Design: Digital DS-3 Cross Connects

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Client: MCI Communications Corp.
Team:  Mona Abou-Sayed, Charlene Edwards, Scott Singleton
Faculty advisor: Dr. Richard Barr     Year: 1995
Documents:   Final report

This project involved developing an optimized  telecommunications-network design for a client of MCI Communications Corp. Requirements included determining the optimum number of nodes, their placement, and Digital Signal 3 (DS-3) lines need ed to connect all the cities and meet their demands while providing restoration capacity in the case of system component failures.

Several heuristics were used to find the initial placement of nodes and begin a cost minimization analysis. A mixed-integer programming model was developed and solved with Cplex, followed by manual adjustments to the node location assignments and network links. The optimal cost was found to be: $4,461,868, which could be improved with further development.

Juliette Fowler Homes

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Client: Juliette Fowler Homeshands
Team:  Sonia Amin
Faculty advisor: Dr. Richard Barr     Year: 1997

Juliette Fowler Homes is a non-profit organization that operates the Pearl Nordan Care Center, an intermediate nursing care facility for senior residents with a capacity of 120 beds. An activities program is scheduled for residents on a weekly basis. Activities at nursing homes are important because they build self-confidence and keep residents alert. A good activities program will, therefore, ultimately promote a sense of well- being for the elderly. In designing a program, social services directors must also consider the significance of state regulations.
The first main research procedure was gathering information on a sample of residents from different functioning levels. Independent ratings were calculated in five need areas according to individual preferences (surveys), attendance his­tories, and expert opinions: Next, an optimization model was designed to  create an activity schedule that maxi­mizes the needs met under a given set of conditions. The results of the resident sample analysis reveal some discrepancies among expert views, resident views, and the actual appeal of activities. The mathematical model reports show which needs are barely met, under-met, and well- met in typical activities programs.