Dynamic network optimization with application to the evacuation problem
- The thesis discusses discrete-time dynamic flows over a finite time horizon T. These flows take time, called travel time, to pass an arc of the network. Travel times, as well as other network attributes, such as, costs, arc and node capacities, and supply at the source node, can be constant or time-dependent. Here we review results on discrete-time dynamic flow problems (DTDNFP) with constant attributes and develop new algorithms to solve several DTDNFPs with time-dependent attributes. Several dynamic network flow problems are discussed: maximum dynamic flow, earliest arrival flow, and quickest flow problems. We generalize the hybrid capacity scaling and shortest augmenting path algorithmic of the static network flow problem to consider the time dependency of the network attributes. The result is used to solve the maximum dynamic flow problem with time-dependent travel times and capacities. We also develop a new algorithm to solve earliest arrival flow problems with the same assumptions on the network attributes. The possibility to wait (or park) at a node before departing on outgoing arc is also taken into account. We prove that the complexity of new algorithm is reduced when infinite waiting is considered. We also report the computational analysis of this algorithm. The results are then used to solve quickest flow problems. Additionally, we discuss time-dependent bicriteria shortest path problems. Here we generalize the classical shortest path problems in two ways. We consider two - in general contradicting - objective functions and introduce a time dependency of the cost which is caused by a travel time on each arc. These problems have several interesting practical applications, but have not attained much attention in the literature. Here we develop two new algorithms in which one of them requires weaker assumptions as in previous research on the subject. Numerical tests show the superiority of the new algorithms. We then apply dynamic network flow models and their associated solution algorithms to determine lower bounds of the evacuation time, evacuation routes, and maximum capacities of inhabited areas with respect to safety requirements. As a macroscopic approach, our dynamic network flow models are mainly used to produce good lower bounds for the evacuation time and do not consider any individual behavior during the emergency situation. These bounds can be used to analyze existing buildings or help in the design phase of planning a building.