Centre for Operational Research and Logistics

Events and Seminars

Research Seminar

Optimization Tools for Improving Railway Systems Security and Reliability

Past and recent events have shown that railway infrastructure systems are highly vulnerable to natural catastrophes, unintentional accidents and terrorist attacks. Protection investments are instrumental in reducing economic losses and preserving public safety. A systematic approach to plan security investments is paramount to guarantee that limited protection resources are utilized in the most efficient manner. This talk introduces an optimization model to identify the railway assets which should be hardened or protected to minimize the impact of worst case disruptions on the system performance. We consider dynamic investments over a planning horizon. The problem is formulated as a bilevel mixed-integer model and solved using two different decomposition approaches. To demonstrate how the approach can be used to support efficient protection investment decisions for real railway infrastructure, a case study on the Kent railway network will be presented.

Biography: Dr Scaparra is a Reader in Management Science and the Director of the MSc in Management Science and Business Analytics at Kent Business School, University of Kent. Dr Scaparra earned a M.Sc. in Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research from Stanford University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Applied to Economic Decisions from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2002. Before joining Kent Business School, she held a position as a postdoctoral researcher in infrastructure and transportation planning at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr Scaparra’s research interests include the application of optimization techniques to location analysis, critical infrastructure protection planning, and reliable service and supply system design among others. She has published more than 20 papers and book chapters on these topics in top-ranked operational research and geography journals, and has been involved in several international, multi-disciplinary and consultancy projects, including EPSRC, DSTL and European projects.


Dr Maria Paola Scaparra, Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK


Lion Gate Building, LG 2.01

Date and Time

Thu, 13 Nov 2014, 13:00 - 14:00 (BST)

For further information or any enquiries please contact our event co-ordinator, Jana Ries, at corl@port.ac.uk