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[12/27]Managing Extreme-Scale Vehicle Sharing Systems via Stochastic Models and Distributed Methods

TopicManaging Extreme-Scale Vehicle Sharing Systems via Stochastic Models and Distributed Methods

SpeakerDr. Cathy H. Xia

Associate Professor

Dept. of Integrated Systems Engineering and Dept. of Computer Science

and Engineering The Ohio State University Columbus, OH 43210


Host Xiaoyun Xu

Time 10:30-11:30 am, December 27thTuesday

LocationMeeting Room, 608 Founder Building


Vehicle sharing systems such as Zipcars and bicycle sharing programs have received continually growing interest in recent years due in part to increasing energy and environmental concerns. These systems are often extremely large-scale:  for example, Zipcar maintains a fleet of over 7,000 vehicles in 3 countries, and Velib, a French bicycle sharing program, maintains over 20,000 bicycles across approximately 1,500 locations around Paris.  Effective management of these systems in such large scales has proven very challenging.   With the geographically dispersed network structure and highly dynamic service environment, the traditional centralized optimization approach can be too data and computation-intensive to implement in practice and provide little managerial insights into effective design and control policies.   We propose to use stochastic network models to capture the spatial and temporal dynamics in the system and use it to develop a queueing network theoretic approach to managing large-scale vehicle rental systems. We study system design decisions using an asymptotic approach in which fleet size grows large, resulting in solution methods that are both computationally efficient and extremely accurate for the large-scale systems. We also study decentralized methods for vehicle repositioning, deriving simple optimal policies that require only local information at the stations and which are thus easily implemented in practice.


About the Speaker

Dr. Cathy H. Xia is an associate professor in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at the Ohio State University, with an adjunct appointment from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Xia specializes in performance modeling and analysis, stochastic processes, and distributed management of large-scale service networks and information systems. Before coming to OSU, she was a senior research scientist at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, NY, where she served as the chair of the Professional Interest Community on Performance Modeling and Analysis at IBM Research. Dr. Xia has received multiple IBM Research Division Awards and many Invention Achievement Awards.  Xia is the co-editor of the Book Performance Modeling and Engineering, Springer 2008. She holds 8 US and International Patents and has published 19 peer-reviewed journal papers, 7 book chapters, and over 30 articles in peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Cathy Honghui Xia received her Ph.D. in Economic Engineering Systems and Operations Research, her M.S. in Statistics, both from Stanford University, and her B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Peking University, Beijing, China.

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