Engineering Graph-Based Models For Dynamic Timetable Information Systems

Journal of Discrete Algorithms(2017)

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In the last years we have witnessed remarkable progress in providing efficient algorithmic solutions to the problem of computing best journeys (or routes) in schedule-based public transportation systems. We have now models to represent timetables that allow us to answer queries for optimal journeys in a few milliseconds, also at a very large scale. Such models can be classified into two types: those representing the timetable as an array, and those representing it as a graph. Array-based models have been shown to be very effective in terms of query time, while graph-based ones usually answer queries by computing shortest paths, and hence they are suitable to be combined with the speed-up techniques developed for road networks.In this paper, we study the behavior of graph-based models in the prominent case of dynamic scenarios, i.e., when delays might occur to the original timetable. In particular, we make the following contributions. First, we consider the graph-based reduced time-expanded model and give a simplified and optimized routine for handling delays, and a re-engineered and fine-tuned query algorithm. Second, we propose a new graph-based model, namely the dynamic timetable model, natively tailored to efficiently incorporate dynamic updates, along with a query algorithm and a routine for handling delays. Third, we show how to adapt the ALT algorithm to such graph-based models. We have chosen this speed-up technique since it supports dynamic changes, and a careful implementation of it can significantly boost its performance. Finally, we provide an experimental study to assess the effectiveness of all proposed models and algorithms, and to compare them with the array-based state of the art solution for the dynamic case. We evaluate both new and existing approaches by implementing and testing them on real-world timetables subject to synthetic delays.Our experimental results show that: (i) the dynamic timetable model is the best model for handling delays; (ii) graph-based models are competitive to array-based models with respect to query time in the dynamic case; (iii) the dynamic timetable model compares favorably with both the original and the reduced time-expanded model regarding space; (iv) combining the graph-based models with speed-up techniques designed for road networks, such as ALT, is a very promising approach. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journey planning,Public transportation systems,Timetable models,Shortest paths,Experimental evaluation,Dynamic updates
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