Integrating supply and demand aspects of transportation for mass evacuation under disasters.
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Integrating supply and demand aspects of transportation for mass evacuation under disasters.

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      This study seeks to address real-time operational needs in the context of the evacuation response problem by providing a capability to dynamically route vehicles under evacuation, thereby being responsive to the actual conditions unfolding in real-time in the traffic network, both in terms of the evolving traffic patterns (demand-side) and the available road infrastructure in the aftermath of the disaster (supply-side). A key aspect in evacuation operations which is not well-understood is the interplay between route choice behavior and its effect on traffic and supply dynamics (i.e., composition of evacuation traffic, changes in roadway capacities, etc.). Evacuation traffic has historically been quantified with descriptive surveys characterizing the behavioral aspects from social or psychological contexts. Integration of these behavioral aspects into traffic and/or supply-side models has been limited. This study seeks to address such integration for generating realistic and effective evacuation strategies by focusing on developing behavioral models for no-notice mass evacuation. They include: (i) an evacuation participation decision model that determines whether an individual or a group of individuals would evacuate at the current time in a disaster context, and (ii) an evacuation route choice model that determines the routes taken by individuals or groups of individuals after they take a decision to evacuate. Under a comprehensive framework which integrates the management of demand- and supply-side components, this study focuses on the modeling of behavior under no-notice evacuation, which has rarely been emphasized in previous studies, especially in terms of the fundamental understanding of the effect of evacuation behavior upon information strategies and vice versa. An understanding of evacuee behavior in terms of their response to the changing environment and control strategies by emergency management agencies (EMAs) throughout the evacuation process is critical for both the planning and operational contexts. For operational control, this effectiveness depends significantly on the level of behavioral understanding of the demand-side problem. Methodological challenges arise from uncertainty and randomness in disaster dynamics and evacuees' decision process under extreme time pressure.
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