Farooq, B.

Simulation Methods in Urban Infrastructure Systems

Speaker: Farooq Bilal

Invited speaker, Universidade de Coimbra

November 26, 2012

Planning and design of urban infrastructure systems in general and transportation systems in particular, require a multidisciplinary effort that is heavily embedded in a “system-of-systems” perspective. The envisioned research direction is a bottom-up approach that is focused on understanding individual human-agents performing activities in urban systems and interacting with each other as well as with the infrastructure. The dynamics of the urban system is thus an emergent phenomenon out of the aggregation of individual behaviours. Such an approach can go beyond extending trends and can extensively address what-if questions as a result of policy and design changes. In particular, this talk will demonstrate how such an approach is useful in planning and design at a large-scale (i.e. urban region) and at a micro-scale (i.e. mobility hubs and public spaces). This seminar presents the breadth of urban systems research that the presenter, Bilal Farooq, has been engaged in with a focus on two major applications. At urban region level, a novel simulation-based population synthesis approach will be presented. Unlike conventional fitting-based approaches that formulate an optimization problem, here the aim is to directly draw from the underlying joint distribution. To do so the partial views are utilized that are available in the form of data samples and control totals. Using Swiss census, a comparative analysis with existing approaches will be discussed and the superiority of this novel method will be highlighted. At a micro-scale, an overview of current research effort related to pedestrian dynamics within public spaces and mobility hubs will be presented.