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  • Presentation: 2019-09-06 13:00 Borlänge
    Paidi, Vijay
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Developing decision support systems for last mile transportation problems2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Last mile transportation is the most problematic phase of transportation needing additional research and effort. Longer waits or search times, lack of navigational directions and real-time information are some of the common problems associated with last mile transportation. Inefficient last mile transportation has an impact on the environment, fuel consumption, user satisfaction and business opportunities. Last mile problems exist in several transportation domains, such as: the landing of airplanes, docking of ships, parking of vehicles, attended home deliveries, etc. While there are dedicated inter-connected decision support systems available for ships and aircraft, similar systems are not widely utilized in parking or attended handover domains. Therefore, the scope of this thesis covers last mile transportation problems in parking and attended handover domains. One problem area for parking and attended handovers is due to lack of real-time information to the driver or consumer. The second problem area is dynamic scheduling where the handover vehicle must traverse additional distance to multiple handover locations due to lack of optimized routes. Similarly, during parking, lack of navigational directions to an empty parking space can lead to increased fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Therefore, aim of this thesis is to design and develop decision support systems for last mile transportation problems by holistically addressing real time customer communication and dynamic scheduling problem areas. The problem areas discussed in this thesis consists of persistent issues even though they were widely discussed in the literature. In order to investigate the problem areas, microdata analysis approach was implemented in the thesis. The phases involved in Microdata analysis are: data collection, data processing, data storage, data analysis and decision-making. Other similar research domains, such as: computer science or statistics also involve phases such as data collection, processing, storage and analysis. These research domains also work in the fields of decision support systems or knowledge creation. However, knowledge creation or decision support systems is not a mandatory phase in these research domains, unlike Microdata analysis. Three papers are presented in this thesis, with two papers focusing on parking domains, while the third paper focuses on attended handover domains.

    The first paper identifies available smart parking tools, applications and discusses their uses and drawbacks in relation to open parking lots. The usage of cameras in identifying parking occupancy was recognized as one of the suitable tools in this paper. The second paper uses a thermal camera to collect the parking lot data, while deep learning methodologies were used to identify parking occupancy detection. Multiple deep learning networks were evaluated for identifying parking spaces and one method was considered suitable for acquiring real time parking occupancy. The acquired parking occupancy information can be communicated to the user to address real-time customer communication problems. However, the decision support system (DSS) to communicate parking occupancy information still needs to be developed. The third paper focuses on the attended handovers domain where a decision support system was reported which addresses real-time customer communication and dynamic scheduling problems holistically. Based on a survey, customers accepted the use of mobile devices for enabling a real-time information flow for improving customer satisfaction. A pilot test on vehicle routing was performed where the decision support system reduced the vehicle routing distance compared to the route taken by the driver. The three papers work in developing decision support systems for addressing major last mile transportation problems in parking and attended handover domains, thus improving customer satisfaction, and business opportunities, and reducing fuel costs, and pollution.