Transport and Mobility Laboratory: yearly report 2019



Spring 2019

Conception et gestion des systèmes de transport
Section(s): Civil Engineering
Lecturer: Daniel Emery
Number of students: unknown
Decision-aid methodologies in transportation
Section(s): Civil Engineering
Lecturers: Nikola Obrenovic, Tim Hillel
Teaching assistant: Stefano Bortolomiol, Gael Lederrey, Selin Atac
Number of students: unknown
Optimization and Simulation
Section(s): Doctoral program in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Lecturers: Michel Bierlaire, Yuki Oyama, Nikola Obrenovic
Number of students: unknown
Systèmes de transport
Section(s): Civil Engineering
Lecturer: Daniel Emery
Number of students: unknown

PhD thesesTop

Defense scheduled in 2019 or after and theses in progress


Meritxell Pacheco
Demand-based discrete optimization
Nicholas Molyneaux
Dynamic management polices for transportation hubs
Gael Lederrey
Machine learning and discrete choice
Selin Atac
Demand-based mobility sharing systems
Stefano Bortolomiol
Incorporating competitors' behavior in demand based optimization models

PhD committeesTop

Boris Thurm (President of the jury)
The diversity of social preferences: Evolutionary foundations and implications for environmental policy
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
March 26, 2019
Giorgia Chinazzo (President of the jury)
Daylight and temperature in buildings: interaction effects on human responses
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
February 14, 2019

Masters thesesTop

Jessica Hopkins
Section: Mathematics
Evaluation of Bootstrap methods
Supervision:Tim Hillel, Gael Lederrey, Michel Bierlaire
Expert: TBD
Nicola Ortelli
Section: Civil Engineering
Automatic utility specification using machine learning techniques
Supervision:Michel Bierlaire
Expert: Francesco Pereira
Thibaut Guillaume Marie Richard
Section: Civil Engineering
Innovative technologies for improvement of airport accessibility with the applications to Geneva Airport
Supervision:Nikola Obrenovic, Selin Atac, Michel Bierlaire
Expert: Philippe Canal, Virginie Marche

Semester projectsTop

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Additional teachingTop

Economic Applications of Discrete Choice Models
Doctoral Training Unit Minlab, April 08, 2019-April 10, 2019
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Lecturer: Bierlaire Michel
Mixture Models
Discrete Choice Analysis: Predicting Individual Behavior and Market Demand, March 24, 2019-March 28, 2019
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Lecturer: Bierlaire Michel
Discrete Panel data
Discrete Choice Analysis: Predicting Individual Behavior and Market Demand, March 24, 2019-March 28, 2019
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Lecturer: Bierlaire Michel
Simulation-based estimation
Discrete Choice Analysis: Predicting Individual Behavior and Market Demand, March 24, 2019-March 28, 2019
EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Lecturer: Bierlaire Michel


Prof. Ricardo Daziano
Understanding the ways of Bayes in choice modeling
Affiliation: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Cornell University
April 25, 2019, 10:00, Room GC B1 10 (click here for the map)

Prof. Marcel Mongeau
An MINLP and a continuous-optimization approaches for aircraft conflict avoidance via speed and heading angle deviations
Affiliation: Ecole Nationale de l'Avion Civile, Toulouse, France
May 03, 2019, 12:15, Room GC B3 30 (click here for the map)

Civil Engineering Seminar Series

Nick Caros
Dynamic Operations of a Mobility Service with En-Route Transfers
Affiliation: New-York University
March 11, 2019

Pierre Attard
Power system optimization
Affiliation: Ecole des Mines - St Etienne
February 14, 2019

Organization of conferences, workshops, etc.Top

14th Workshop on Discrete Choice Models
April 25, 2019-April 27, 2019
Location: EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Role: Organizer
Discrete Choice Analysis: Predicting Individual Behavior and Market Demand
March 24, 2019-March 28, 2019
Location: EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
Role: Founder, organizer and lecturer
Transport and Mobility Symposium
February 07, 2019-February 09, 2019
Location: Hotel Europe, Zinal
Role: Organizer
Winter School on Optimization and Operations Research
January 13, 2019-January 18, 2019
Location: Hotel Europe, Zinal
Role: Organizer


Papers in international journals (accepted for publication)Top

    Papers in international journalsTop

    1. Oyama, Y., and Hato, E. (2019). Prism-based path set restriction for solving Markovian traffic assignment problem, Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 122:528-546.
    2. Sharif Azadeh, S., Bierlaire, M., and Maknoon, Y. (2019). A Two-Stage Route Optimization Algorithm for Light Aircraft Transport Systems, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 100:259-273.

          Speaker in external seminarsTop

          1. Molyneaux, N., Scarinci, R., and Bierlaire, M., Improving pedestrian dynamics by controlling pedestrian flows. TRANS-FORM workshop, EPFL, April 04, 2019, Lausanne, Switzerland (
          2. Bortolomiol, S., Lurkin, V., and Bierlaire, M., Modelling competitive markets within a demand-based optimization framework. Third AIROYoung Workshop, Sapienza University of Rome, March 29, 2019, Rome, Italy

          Awards and distinctionsTop

          Research projects (7)Top

          Sponsor: Swiss Federal Railways (SBB)
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Tim Hillel (PM), Janody Pougala
          Period: March 01, 2019-March 01, 2020
          This research project aims to update and improve the microscopic activity-based demand model developed and maintained by SBB. Specifically the research intends to address the following questions: 1. Ownership of mobility instruments: Which metrics and specifications can be added to the current model, in order to improve its ability to forecast mid-and long-term ownership of mobility instruments? More specifically, how can the notion of accessibility be integrated to the current model to capture more complex mode interactions? 2. Mode choice model: Can a tour-based approach be used to model mode choice? In addition, how can the processes to estimate destination and mode choice (currently nested) be combined to generate results that are consistent with observed mobility behaviors at different time horizons (short, mid, and long-term)? 3. Tour and activity generation: How can the generation of tours and activity patterns be combined to allow modelling of joint decisions?
          PAM Personal Autonomous Moving platforms
          Sponsor: Schindler
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Yuki Oyama (PM)
          Period: November 15, 2018-May 14, 2019
          In this project, Schindler and TRANSP-OR imagine a revolution of urban mobility focused on pedestrians. The Personal Autonomous Moving (PAM) platforms are similar to hoverborads or segways, and move from a point A (origin) to a point B (destination) on their own and carry the user with minimum interaction. They are a “light” mode of transport that does not require large space or infrastructural investment for the installation. This innovative mode of transport is ideal for short distance trip in large pedestrian facilities such as university campuses, larger business districts and airports as well as city centers. A great advantage is the possibility to directly access elevators with PAM platforms. This could lead to a real three-dimensional mobility taking advantage of elevators already installed in buildings. A possible deployment of this system generates several scientific and technological challenges. TRANP-OR focuses on the research questions that are related to the algorithms and mathematical models used by decision support tools needed for the planning and operation of the system.
          Design of a car-free city center: a fringe parking system with accelerated moving walkways
          Sponsor: European Commission
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Yuki Oyama (PM)
          Period: October 01, 2018-September 30, 2020
          This project is conducted on a fellowship "The EuroTech Postdoc Programme". A car-free city center is a valuable solution for decreasing traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, and improving active mobility and quality of life. To achieve these goals, one of the biggest challenges is the relocation of parking places scattered in the inner district, which cause cruising for available parking as well as car inflows. A possible solution is a “fringe parking” system, which groups parking into a limited number of spots on the border of the district. However, this may decrease the level of accessibility moving the parking away from the final destinations. The key idea of this research is to use “accelerated moving walkway” (AMW), a novel transport system, in combination with a fringe parking system to design a car-free city center with high accessibility. The goal of the research is to propose and identify the optimal configuration of a fringe parking system with AMWs, as a solution to city centers. The main methodologies are network design optimization and traffic assignment.
          Incorporating competitors' behavior in demand based optimization models
          Sponsor: Swiss National Science Foundation
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Virginie Lurkin (PM), Stefano Bortolomiol
          Period: November 01, 2017-October 31, 2020
          The starting point of this research project is the general framework developed in the SNF research project 200021_165636 entitled “Incorporating advanced behavioral models in mixed integer linear optimization”. The project aims at formulating explicitly the complex interaction between the supply and demand actors. We hypothesize that the decisions of supply actors (such as capacity, assortment, and price) are highly influenced by the decisions of other actors, through competition within the market. In this project, we will therefore explicitly consider multiple operators that compete for the same pool of customers. Each operator will take the supply-side decisions that optimize its performance function (e.g., maximization of revenue). Non-cooperative game theory is commonly used to model such oligopolistic competition. We plan to investigate how to integrate these games in the already developed framework. In this context, the objective will be to analyze the concept of equilibrium, that is, stationary states of the system where no actor has an incentive to change his/her decisions.
          Capacity building program in urban mobility and transportation
          Sponsor: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Yousef Maknoon (PM), Riccardo Scarinci (PM), Yuki Oyama (PM)
          Period: September 01, 2016-September 01, 2019
          The purpose of this project is to develop graduate curriculum in urban mobility and transportation. The relevant courses of this curriculum will be available in MOOC format. This program is a collaborative project between Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Urban Transport Systems Laboratory (LUTS) and Transport and Mobility Laboratory (TRANSP-OR) at EPFL.
          Incorporating advanced behavioral models in mixed integer linear optimization
          Sponsor: Swiss National Science Foundation
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Shadi Sharif Azadeh (PM), Meritxell Pacheco
          Period: April 01, 2016-March 31, 2019
          Discrete choice models are used for detailed representation of the "demand". However, their complexity makes mathematical formulations highly non convex in the explanatory variables. On the other hand, Mixed Integer Linear Programs (MILP) are optimization problems with discrete variables that are used in many applications to design and configure the "supply". In this project, we propose a new modeling framework that allows to include any random utility model in a mixed integer optimization formulation. The heterogeneity of demand is captured within the general choice model framework and the offers are tailored in a way that is beneficial for users as wells as providers. The main objective of the project is to obtain a framework that is both general, so that it can be applied in many applications, and operational, so that it can be used in practice.
          TRANS-FORM: Smart transfers through unravelling urban form and travel flow dynamics
          Sponsor: The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC)
          Team: Michel Bierlaire (PI), Shadi Sharif Azadeh (PM), Riccardo Scarinci (PM), Yuki Oyama (PM), Nicholas Molyneaux, Nikola Obrenovic
          Period: March 03, 2016-March 03, 2019
          TRANS-FORM, a cooperation between universities, industrial partners, public authorities and private operators, will develop, implement and test a data driven decision making tool that will support smart planning, and proactive and adaptive operations. The objective of the project is to better understand transferring dynamics in multi-modal public transport systems and develop insights, strategies and methods to support decision makers in transforming public transport usage to a seamless travel experience by using smart data. The tool will integrate new concepts and methods of behavioral modelling, passenger flow forecasting and network state predictions into real-time operations. TRANS-FORM is funded under the European Commission Horizon 2020 ERA-NET program.

          Miscellaneous responsibilitiesTop



          1. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Transportation Research Part B (since January 01, 1995)
          2. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, European Transport, Quarterly Journal of Transport Law, Economics and Engineering (since February 01, 2005)
          3. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Transportation Research Part C (since January 01, 2006)
          4. Director of the Transport and Mobility Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland (since July 01, 2006)
          5. Director, Transportation Center, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (since May 06, 2009)
          6. Editor-in-Chief, EURO Journal on Transport and Logistics (since February 01, 2011)
          7. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research (since November 08, 2011)
          8. Associate Editor, Operations Research (since January 01, 2012)
          9. Member of the research council, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), Bern, Switzerland (since January 01, 2015)
          10. Member of the Academic Promotion Committee, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland (since April 01, 2015)
          11. Founder, member of the steering committee, European Association for Research in Transportation (since September 09, 2015)
          12. Member of the scientific advisory board, CIRRELT (Interuniversity Research Center on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation, Québec, Canada (since January 01, 2016)
          13. Scientific advisor, BestMile SA (since May 12, 2016)
          14. Scientific advisor, Kidodynamics (since May 01, 2018)
          15. Associate Editor, Transport Findings (since October 01, 2018)
          16. Member of the International Scientific Advisory Board , Transportation Research Center, Kumasi, Kumasi, Ghana (since November 01, 2018)
          17. Member of the Editorial Board, Transportation Research Part B (since December 01, 2018)


          • Transportation Research
          • Operations Research
          • Discrete Choice Models


          Modeling, optimization, simulation

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