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A Stochastic Airline Staff Scheduling Model with Risk Considerations that Minimizes Costs

Description

Most staff planning for airline industries are done using point estimates; these do not account for the probabilistic nature of employees not showing up to work, and the airline company risks being under or overstaffed at different times, which increases

Most staff planning for airline industries are done using point estimates; these do not account for the probabilistic nature of employees not showing up to work, and the airline company risks being under or overstaffed at different times, which increases costs and deteriorates customer service. This model proposes utilizing a stochastic method for American Airlines to schedule their ground crew staff. We developed a stochastic model for scheduling that incorporates the risks of absent employees and as well as reliability so that stakeholders can determine the level of reliability they want to maintain in their system based on the costs. We also incorporated a preferences component to the model in order to increase staff satisfaction in the schedules they get assigned based on their predetermined preferences. Since this is a general staffing model, this can be utilized for an airline crew or virtually any other workforce so long as certain parameters about the population can be determined.

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2016-05

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Routing and scheduling of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles

Description

Vehicles powered by electricity and alternative-fuels are becoming a more popular form of transportation since they have less of an environmental impact than standard gasoline vehicles. Unfortunately, their success is currently inhibited by the sparseness of locations where the vehicles

Vehicles powered by electricity and alternative-fuels are becoming a more popular form of transportation since they have less of an environmental impact than standard gasoline vehicles. Unfortunately, their success is currently inhibited by the sparseness of locations where the vehicles can refuel as well as the fact that many of the vehicles have a range that is less than those powered by gasoline. These factors together create a "range anxiety" in drivers, which causes the drivers to worry about the utility of alternative-fuel and electric vehicles and makes them less likely to purchase these vehicles. For the new vehicle technologies to thrive it is critical that range anxiety is minimized and performance is increased as much as possible through proper routing and scheduling. In the case of long distance trips taken by individual vehicles, the routes must be chosen such that the vehicles take the shortest routes while not running out of fuel on the trip. When many vehicles are to be routed during the day, if the refueling stations have limited capacity then care must be taken to avoid having too many vehicles arrive at the stations at any time. If the vehicles that will need to be routed in the future are unknown then this problem is stochastic. For fleets of vehicles serving scheduled operations, switching to alternative-fuels requires ensuring the schedules do not cause the vehicles to run out of fuel. This is especially problematic since the locations where the vehicles may refuel are limited due to the technology being new. This dissertation covers three related optimization problems: routing a single electric or alternative-fuel vehicle on a long distance trip, routing many electric vehicles in a network where the stations have limited capacity and the arrivals into the system are stochastic, and scheduling fleets of electric or alternative-fuel vehicles with limited locations to refuel. Different algorithms are proposed to solve each of the three problems, of which some are exact and some are heuristic. The algorithms are tested on both random data and data relating to the State of Arizona.

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2014

Dynamic management of inspection effort allocation in an international port of entry (POE)

Description

Every year, more than 11 million maritime containers and 11 million commercial trucks arrive to the United States, carrying all types of imported goods. As it would be costly to inspect every container, only a fraction of them are inspected

Every year, more than 11 million maritime containers and 11 million commercial trucks arrive to the United States, carrying all types of imported goods. As it would be costly to inspect every container, only a fraction of them are inspected before being allowed to proceed into the United States. This dissertation proposes a decision support system that aims to allocate the scarce inspection resources at a land POE (L-POE), to minimize the different costs associated with the inspection process, including those associated with delaying the entry of legitimate imports. Given the ubiquity of sensors in all aspects of the supply chain, it is necessary to have automated decision systems that incorporate the information provided by these sensors and other possible channels into the inspection planning process. The inspection planning system proposed in this dissertation decomposes the inspection effort allocation process into two phases: Primary and detailed inspection planning. The former helps decide what to inspect, and the latter how to conduct the inspections. A multi-objective optimization (MOO) model is developed for primary inspection planning. This model tries to balance the costs of conducting inspections, direct and expected, and the waiting time of the trucks. The resulting model is exploited in two different ways: One is to construct a complete or a partial efficient frontier for the MOO model with diversity of Pareto-optimal solutions maximized; the other is to evaluate a given inspection plan and provide possible suggestions for improvement. The methodologies are described in detail and case studies provided. The case studies show that this MOO based primary planning model can effectively pick out the non-conforming trucks to inspect, while balancing the costs and waiting time.

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2012

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Public health surveillance in high-dimensions with supervised learning

Description

Public health surveillance is a special case of the general problem where counts (or rates) of events are monitored for changes. Modern data complements event counts with many additional measurements (such as geographic, demographic, and others) that comprise high-dimensional covariates.

Public health surveillance is a special case of the general problem where counts (or rates) of events are monitored for changes. Modern data complements event counts with many additional measurements (such as geographic, demographic, and others) that comprise high-dimensional covariates. This leads to an important challenge to detect a change that only occurs within a region, initially unspecified, defined by these covariates. Current methods are typically limited to spatial and/or temporal covariate information and often fail to use all the information available in modern data that can be paramount in unveiling these subtle changes. Additional complexities associated with modern health data that are often not accounted for by traditional methods include: covariates of mixed type, missing values, and high-order interactions among covariates. This work proposes a transform of public health surveillance to supervised learning, so that an appropriate learner can inherently address all the complexities described previously. At the same time, quantitative measures from the learner can be used to define signal criteria to detect changes in rates of events. A Feature Selection (FS) method is used to identify covariates that contribute to a model and to generate a signal. A measure of statistical significance is included to control false alarms. An alternative Percentile method identifies the specific cases that lead to changes using class probability estimates from tree-based ensembles. This second method is intended to be less computationally intensive and significantly simpler to implement. Finally, a third method labeled Rule-Based Feature Value Selection (RBFVS) is proposed for identifying the specific regions in high-dimensional space where the changes are occurring. Results on simulated examples are used to compare the FS method and the Percentile method. Note this work emphasizes the application of the proposed methods on public health surveillance. Nonetheless, these methods can easily be extended to a variety of applications where counts (or rates) of events are monitored for changes. Such problems commonly occur in domains such as manufacturing, economics, environmental systems, engineering, as well as in public health.

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2010

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Simulation-based Bayesian optimal accelerated life test design and model discrimination

Description

Accelerated life testing (ALT) is the process of subjecting a product to stress conditions (temperatures, voltage, pressure etc.) in excess of its normal operating levels to accelerate failures. Product failure typically results from multiple stresses acting on it simultaneously. Multi-stress

Accelerated life testing (ALT) is the process of subjecting a product to stress conditions (temperatures, voltage, pressure etc.) in excess of its normal operating levels to accelerate failures. Product failure typically results from multiple stresses acting on it simultaneously. Multi-stress factor ALTs are challenging as they increase the number of experiments due to the stress factor-level combinations resulting from the increased number of factors. Chapter 2 provides an approach for designing ALT plans with multiple stresses utilizing Latin hypercube designs that reduces the simulation cost without loss of statistical efficiency. A comparison to full grid and large-sample approximation methods illustrates the approach computational cost gain and flexibility in determining optimal stress settings with less assumptions and more intuitive unit allocations.

Implicit in the design criteria of current ALT designs is the assumption that the form of the acceleration model is correct. This is unrealistic assumption in many real-world problems. Chapter 3 provides an approach for ALT optimum design for model discrimination. We utilize the Hellinger distance measure between predictive distributions. The optimal ALT plan at three stress levels was determined and its performance was compared to good compromise plan, best traditional plan and well-known 4:2:1 compromise test plans. In the case of linear versus quadratic ALT models, the proposed method increased the test plan's ability to distinguish among competing models and provided better guidance as to which model is appropriate for the experiment.

Chapter 4 extends the approach of Chapter 3 to ALT sequential model discrimination. An initial experiment is conducted to provide maximum possible information with respect to model discrimination. The follow-on experiment is planned by leveraging the most current information to allow for Bayesian model comparison through posterior model probability ratios. Results showed that performance of plan is adversely impacted by the amount of censoring in the data, in the case of linear vs. quadratic model form at three levels of constant stress, sequential testing can improve model recovery rate by approximately 8% when data is complete, but no apparent advantage in adopting sequential testing was found in the case of right-censored data when censoring is in excess of a certain amount.

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2014

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Surgical instrument reprocessing in a hospital setting analyzed with statistical process control and data mining techniques

Description

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments.

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments. The management of surgical instruments and medical devices can impact patient safety and hospital revenue. Any time instrumentation or devices are not available or are not fit for use, patient safety and revenue can be negatively impacted. One step of the instrument reprocessing cycle is sterilization. Steam sterilization is the sterilization method used for the majority of surgical instruments and is preferred to immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS) because terminally sterilized items can be stored until needed. IUSS Items must be used promptly and cannot be stored for later use. IUSS is intended for emergency situations and not as regular course of action. Unfortunately, IUSS is used to compensate for inadequate inventory levels, scheduling conflicts, and miscommunications. If IUSS is viewed as an adverse event, then monitoring IUSS incidences can help healthcare organizations meet patient safety goals and financial goals along with aiding in process improvement efforts. This work recommends statistical process control methods to IUSS incidents and illustrates the use of control charts for IUSS occurrences through a case study and analysis of the control charts for data from a health care provider. Furthermore, this work considers the application of data mining methods to IUSS occurrences and presents a representative example of data mining to the IUSS occurrences. This extends the application of statistical process control and data mining in healthcare applications.

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2014

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Modeling time series data for supervised learning

Description

Temporal data are increasingly prevalent and important in analytics. Time series (TS) data are chronological sequences of observations and an important class of temporal data. Fields such as medicine, finance, learning science and multimedia naturally generate TS data. Each series

Temporal data are increasingly prevalent and important in analytics. Time series (TS) data are chronological sequences of observations and an important class of temporal data. Fields such as medicine, finance, learning science and multimedia naturally generate TS data. Each series provide a high-dimensional data vector that challenges the learning of the relevant patterns This dissertation proposes TS representations and methods for supervised TS analysis. The approaches combine new representations that handle translations and dilations of patterns with bag-of-features strategies and tree-based ensemble learning. This provides flexibility in handling time-warped patterns in a computationally efficient way. The ensemble learners provide a classification framework that can handle high-dimensional feature spaces, multiple classes and interaction between features. The proposed representations are useful for classification and interpretation of the TS data of varying complexity. The first contribution handles the problem of time warping with a feature-based approach. An interval selection and local feature extraction strategy is proposed to learn a bag-of-features representation. This is distinctly different from common similarity-based time warping. This allows for additional features (such as pattern location) to be easily integrated into the models. The learners have the capability to account for the temporal information through the recursive partitioning method. The second contribution focuses on the comprehensibility of the models. A new representation is integrated with local feature importance measures from tree-based ensembles, to diagnose and interpret time intervals that are important to the model. Multivariate time series (MTS) are especially challenging because the input consists of a collection of TS and both features within TS and interactions between TS can be important to models. Another contribution uses a different representation to produce computationally efficient strategies that learn a symbolic representation for MTS. Relationships between the multiple TS, nominal and missing values are handled with tree-based learners. Applications such as speech recognition, medical diagnosis and gesture recognition are used to illustrate the methods. Experimental results show that the TS representations and methods provide better results than competitive methods on a comprehensive collection of benchmark datasets. Moreover, the proposed approaches naturally provide solutions to similarity analysis, predictive pattern discovery and feature selection.

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2012

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Monitoring complex supply chains

Description

The complexity of supply chains (SC) has grown rapidly in recent years, resulting in an increased difficulty to evaluate and visualize performance. Consequently, analytical approaches to evaluate SC performance in near real time relative to targets and plans are important

The complexity of supply chains (SC) has grown rapidly in recent years, resulting in an increased difficulty to evaluate and visualize performance. Consequently, analytical approaches to evaluate SC performance in near real time relative to targets and plans are important to detect and react to deviations in order to prevent major disruptions.

Manufacturing anomalies, inaccurate forecasts, and other problems can lead to SC disruptions. Traditional monitoring methods are not sufficient in this respect, because com- plex SCs feature changes in manufacturing tasks (dynamic complexity) and carry a large number of stock keeping units (detail complexity). Problems are easily confounded with normal system variations.

Motivated by these real challenges faced by modern SC, new surveillance solutions are proposed to detect system deviations that could lead to disruptions in a complex SC. To address supply-side deviations, the fitness of different statistics that can be extracted from the enterprise resource planning system is evaluated. A monitoring strategy is first proposed for SCs featuring high levels of dynamic complexity. This presents an opportunity for monitoring methods to be applied in a new, rich domain of SC management. Then a monitoring strategy, called Heat Map Contrasts (HMC), which converts monitoring into a series of classification problems, is used to monitor SCs with both high levels of dynamic and detail complexities. Data from a semiconductor SC simulator are used to compare the methods with other alternatives under various failure cases, and the results illustrate the viability of our methods.

To address demand-side deviations, a new method of quantifying forecast uncer- tainties using the progression of forecast updates is presented. It is illustrated that a rich amount of information is available in rolling horizon forecasts. Two proactive indicators of future forecast errors are extracted from the forecast stream. This quantitative method re- quires no knowledge of the forecasting model itself and has shown promising results when applied to two datasets consisting of real forecast updates.

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2015

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Efficient formulations for next-generation choice-based network revenue management for airline implementation

Description

Revenue management is at the core of airline operations today; proprietary algorithms and heuristics are used to determine prices and availability of tickets on an almost-continuous basis. While initial developments in revenue management were motivated by industry practice, later developments

Revenue management is at the core of airline operations today; proprietary algorithms and heuristics are used to determine prices and availability of tickets on an almost-continuous basis. While initial developments in revenue management were motivated by industry practice, later developments overcoming fundamental omissions from earlier models show significant improvement, despite their focus on relatively esoteric aspects of the problem, and have limited potential for practical use due to computational requirements. This dissertation attempts to address various modeling and computational issues, introducing realistic choice-based demand revenue management models. In particular, this work introduces two optimization formulations alongside a choice-based demand modeling framework, improving on the methods that choice-based revenue management literature has created to date, by providing sensible models for airline implementation.

The first model offers an alternative formulation to the traditional choice-based revenue management problem presented in the literature, and provides substantial gains in expected revenue while limiting the problem’s computational complexity. Making assumptions on passenger demand, the Choice-based Mixed Integer Program (CMIP) provides a significantly more compact formulation when compared to other choice-based revenue management models, and consistently outperforms previous models.

Despite the prevalence of choice-based revenue management models in literature, the assumptions made on purchasing behavior inhibit researchers to create models that properly reflect passenger sensitivities to various ticket attributes, such as price, number of stops, and flexibility options. This dissertation introduces a general framework for airline choice-based demand modeling that takes into account various ticket attributes in addition to price, providing a framework for revenue management models to relate airline companies’ product design strategies to the practice of revenue management through decisions on ticket availability and price.

Finally, this dissertation introduces a mixed integer non-linear programming formulation for airline revenue management that accommodates the possibility of simultaneously setting prices and availabilities on a network. Traditional revenue management models primarily focus on availability, only, forcing secondary models to optimize prices. The Price-dynamic Choice-based Mixed Integer Program (PCMIP) eliminates this two-step process, aligning passenger purchase behavior with revenue management policies, and is shown to outperform previously developed models, providing a new frontier of research in airline revenue management.

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2016

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Developing a Machine Learning Framework for Student Persistence Prediction

Description

Student retention is a critical metric for many universities whose intention is to support student success. The goal of this thesis is to create retention models utilizing machine learning (ML) techniques. The factors explored in this research include only those

Student retention is a critical metric for many universities whose intention is to support student success. The goal of this thesis is to create retention models utilizing machine learning (ML) techniques. The factors explored in this research include only those known during the admissions process. These models have two goals: first, to correctly predict as many non-returning students as possible, while minimizing the number of students who are falsely predicted as non-returning. Next, to identify important features in student retention and provide a practical explanation for a student's decision to no longer persist. The models are then used to provide outreach to students that need more support. The findings of this research indicate that the current top performing model is Adaboost which is able to successfully predict non-returning students with an accuracy of 54 percent.

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2021