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Road network vulnerability analysis of area-covering disruptions: A grid-based approach with case study
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Traffic and Logistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4106-3126
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Transport and Location Analysis.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9507-9185
2012 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, Vol. 46, no 5, 746-760 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present an approach to systematically analysing the vulnerability of road networks under disruptions covering extended areas. Since various kinds of events including floods, heavy snowfall, storms and wildfires can cause such spatially spread degradations, the analysis method is an important complement to the existing studies of single link failures. The methodology involves covering the study area with grids of uniformly shaped and sized cells, where each cell represents the extent of an event disrupting any intersecting links. We apply the approach to the Swedish road network using travel demand and network data from the Swedish national transport modelling system Sampers. The study shows that the impacts of area-covering disruptions are largely determined by the level of internal, outbound and inbound travel demand of the affected area itself. This is unlike single link failures, where the link flow and the redundancy in the surrounding network determine the impacts. As a result, the vulnerability to spatially spread events shows a markedly different geographical distribution. These findings, which should be universal for most road networks of similar scale, are important in the planning process of resource allocation for mitigation and recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 46, no 5, 746-760 p.
Keyword [en]
Area, Disruption, Road network, Robustness, Transport, Vulnerability
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24941DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2012.02.003ISI: 000303360000002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84859156445OAI: diva2:354574
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
QC 20120427Available from: 2010-10-04 Created: 2010-10-04 Last updated: 2012-06-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Large-Scale Road Network Vulnerability Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Large-Scale Road Network Vulnerability Analysis
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Disruptions in the transport system can have severe impacts for affected individuals, businesses and the society as a whole. In this research, vulnerability is seen as the risk of unplanned system disruptions, with a focus on large, rare events. Vulnerability analysis aims to provide decision support regarding preventive and restorative actions, ideally as an integrated part of the planning process.The thesis specifically develops the methodology for vulnerability analysis of road networks and considers the effects of suddenly increased travel times and cancelled trips following road link closures. The major part consists of model-based studies of different aspects of vulnerability, in particular the dichotomy of system efficiency and user equity, applied to the Swedish road network. We introduce the concepts of link importance as the overall impact of closing a particular link, and regional exposure as the impact for individuals in a particular region of, e.g., a worst-case or an average-case scenario (Paper I). By construction, a link is important if the normal flow across it is high and/or the alternatives to this link are considerably worse, while a traveller is exposed if a link closure along her normal route is likely and/or the best alternative is considerably worse. Using regression analysis we show that these relationships can be generalized to municipalities and counties, so that geographical variations in vulnerability can be explained by variations in network density and travel patterns (Paper II). The relationship between overall impacts and user disparities are also analyzed for single link closures and is found to be negative, i.e., the most important links also have the most equal distribution of impacts among individuals (Paper III).In addition to links' roles for transport efficiency, the thesis considers their importance as rerouting alternatives when other links are disrupted (Paper IV). Such redundancy-important roads, found often to be running in parallel to highways with heavy traffic, may be warranted a higher standard than their typical use would suggest. We also study the vulnerability of the road network under area-covering disruptions, representing for example flooding, heavy snowfall or forest fires (Paper V). In contrast to single link failures, the impacts of this kind of events are largely determined by the population concentration, more precisely the travel demand within, in and out of the disrupted area itself, while the density of the road network is of small influence. Finally, the thesis approaches the issue of how to value the delays that are incurred by network disruptions and, using an activity-based modelling approach, we illustrate that these delay costs may be considerably higher than the ordinary value of time, in particular during the first few days after the event when travel conditions are uncertain (Paper VI).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. ix, 45 p.
Trita-TEC-PHD, ISSN 1653-4468 ; 10:005
vulnerability, risk reliability, transport, infrastructure, road network
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24952 (URN)978-91-85539-63-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-19, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
QC 20101004Available from: 2010-10-04 Created: 2010-10-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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