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Archive for June, 2011


June 23rd, 2011

Software Sales and Marketing

by Amrinder Arora

There are a million ways to arrive at the conclusion that while you may be trying to sell software or something else, there are still only 3 kinds of advertising.



June 8th, 2011

ITS European Congress – Day 2

by Amrinder Arora

Day 2

Here is the Day 1 Report.

One of the most interesting topics discussed on day 2 was that of urban freight management, which remains an interesting challenge despite a reasonable amount of work (and somewhat reasonable amount of progress in this field).  One of the reasons that this sub-field generates a significant amount of interest is because of its impact on a very sizable amount of human population, as more than half of human population on earth lives in urban areas.  So, in this respect, cooperative systems and intelligent cargo has great potential for enhancing the operational efficiency of city freight logistics.

Adrian Coronado started things off by talking about Cluster use for logistics operations and wireless vehicular networks in urban port areas.  Really, not a bad attempt at putting the focus of ITS applications in logistics.  DSRC and WAVE standards enable logistics clusters and thereby, knowing the current location of goods.  Adrian presented some nice simulations based on OPNET and ACE.  Message payload consists of truck information only and does not include V2V communications.

Christophe Poteloin from PRESSTALIS presented their finding on optimizing local deliveries using smart freight consolidation.  The benefits to the retailers are clear, and the benefits to PRESSTALIS are self evident.  The start up cost however is the space for freight consolidation.  Using a model based on networking of available capacities, PRESSTALIS envisions a community of logistics providers.  Perhaps Christophe’s talk should be called “Community System for Local Deliveries”.  Can NX CCS be a starting point for such a community system?

Bertrand David from Ecole Centrale de Lyon reported on urban logistics and sustainable development.  Attempts to classify urban deliveries into 3 ways, based on the size and the frequency of the deliveries.  Presented some interesting prototypes of driver screens which contain advice to the driver with a sequence of delivery stops.  (And you thought that the TSP – Traveling Salesperson Path  was an academic problem?)

Volker Braun from mm-lab presented a telematic system for waste disposal logistics. They offer a commercial service to waste management companies, to manage their routes while minimizing costs.  (The Waste Management companies can in turn have end consumers  sign up and pay a monthly fee for waste disposal.)  This isn’t unlike the waste disposal in the US, but the situation is a bit more complicated due to the added onus in Germany to separate the waste into a million different kinds, instead of just waste and recyclable, as it is the case, at least in Virginia, if not in the entire US.

One of the components of the solution is the scheduler that dynamically adjusts the waste collection routes, thereby making the route planning a central planned activity, and then distributing the route to the trucks.  (And you still thought that the TSP was an academic problem, huh?)

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June 7th, 2011

Intelligent Transportation Systems – European Congress – Day 1

by Amrinder Arora

Here is a brief wrapup of the Day 1 at ITS Europe from rainy Lyon.  (Read the Day 2 Report.)

Excellent presentations today (including mine ;-) – slides here). Lots of interesting ideas, and from the interest in the freight traffic management, the management of parking lots, parking spaces, and virtualized border crossings, it appears that the solution strategy at NTELX is on the right track with leading edge solutions on all 3 main components of transportation delays (visibility delays, congestion related delays, and security related delays).

Tom van de ven from Rapp Trans presented an interesting study to manage truck parking areas in Europe, especially along E34.  One interesting aspect is that the TPAs are publicly operated,  public authorities argue that real situation is the lack of TPAs, not poor management of them.  The projected system will try to predict the Expected occupancy, not current occupancy, and presents this notion of TPOIS – truck parking occupancy information system.  It is interesting that the problem is not different from the problem of managing Waiting Areas (as the TPAs are called in Jordan).  This problem was solved by NTELX’s Aqaba TCS solution.

Madis Sassiad from Estonia presented the problem of long queues that exists for EU trucks trying to enter Russia.  The wait times can be 11 days at times :-) and is 3 days on average. The solution is presented as a Virtualized border crossing, which is, essentially an appointment system, wherein trucks do not have to physically be in queue.  A business reality of course also is that there currently is a Black market of places in the queues, and also the truck waiting areas stand to lose revenue if there is decrease in waiting time.  An example supply chain presented was originating at Hamburg, ending at St. Petersburg and crossing from Estonia to Russia at the Narva border crossing.   This situation is perhaps the most easily recognizable with the adaptive appointments module in NX FTMS.  Essentially, the idea is that when the capacity of a single resource is the dominant factor in the system, appointment based logic may be preferable to capacity management approach.

Finally, Franck Petit from Cofiroute presented the problem of Saturated parking areas, and how it applies specifically in the French focused setting.  From the vigorous interest in managing the parking areas in Europe, it appears that a stochastic and predictive capacity based logic to predict and manage network location capacities may be a solution that can be replicated (with customizations, of course) at a various places.

Continue reading the Day 2 report.

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June 3rd, 2011

Quiz 1 – Asymptotic Notation – Solutions

by Amrinder Arora

#cs6212gwu
Asymptotic Notation – Quiz Solutions

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June 2nd, 2011

Presenting at ITS European Congress Next Week

by Amrinder Arora

I will be presenting at the 8th Intelligent Transportation Systems Europe Congress in Lyon next week. My presentation is on June 7th at 11 AM, full agenda can be found here.

And here is the news item from NTELX’s website.

NTELX to Present at 2011 ITS Europe Congress
Jun 1st, 2011
Dr. Amrinder Arora, Vice President – Technology, will present a Flexible Appointment Based System with Adaptive Response to Traffic and Processing Delays at the 8th ITS European Congress in Lyon on June 7th, 2011.

Based on NTELX’s patented algorithms, the system uses multiple inputs, including ocean vessel and train arrival data, the terminal processing times, the real-time traffic information, and truck locations and statistical records to adjust the appointment slots and communicates in real-time with participating trucks to update the appointments. An implementation of this system is currently in use at the Jordan-Syria free trade zone near the town of Nasib.

The full conference agenda (PDF) is available through the ITS website.

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