A Multi-agent System for Real-Time Ride Sharing in Congested Networks
Sharing rides can be an effective solution for traffic management in populated urban areas. Real-time ride sharing is a dynamic and complex optimization problem. Indeed, the problem data are not known a priori in a dynamic context. However, most of the approaches in the literature consider that the missing data concerns the travelers, which are revealed online. Very few consider traffic changes during optimization or execution. More precisely, they assume that the predicted travel times used during optimization remain the same when executing the vehicle schedule, which is usually not the case in practice. In this paper, we propose a multi-agent system to solve the real-time ride-sharing problem. In this system, two models are defined to deal with dynamic traffic conditions. On the one side, the currently observed average speed in the network is used to predict travel times when calculating the optimal schedule for the ride-sharing fleet. On the other side, the traffic situation is updated every 10 s using a simulator as the plant model to represent the real traffic dynamics. The experimental results with real data on the city of Lyon show that the proposed multi-agent system is efficient in terms of congestion reduction, especially during peak hours and if sufficient rides are shared. The system can also reduce the provider’s cost with a small increase in passengers waiting time and travel time.
KeywordsReal-time ride sharing Multi-agent system Simulation Optimization Network congestion
This study has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 646592 MAGnUM project).
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