Disruption management in railway networks – Dr. Francesco Corman

speaker wrings hands expressively

Dr. Francesco Corman presents seminar at University of Toronto, March 28, 2019

Dr. Francesco Corman of ETH Zurich presented a special guest lecture at University of Toronto on March 28, 2019. His talk “Disruption management in railway networks” was well attended.

Dr. Corman shares his presentation PDF file here.

two converse

Post-seminar discussion, Dr. Francesco Corman lecture, March 28, 2019

two pose against wall

Professor Amer Shalaby, left, with visiting guest speaker Dr. Francesco Corman, March 28, 2019


A major problem of public transport, and railways in particular, is to improve quality of operations by updating an offline timetable to the ever changing delays situation, in order to improve performance of the transport system. In railway systems, this relates to reduce train delays by reordering, retiming, or rerouting trains, and/or change connection plans and route advised to passengers, to improve their traveltime.

Key point of research is the interaction between the problem (of the infrastructure manager) to reschedule trains and the problem (of the travellers) to find the optimal route in the network. In fact, changing passenger flows, respectively delaying trains and/or dropping passenger connections, varies the setting under which the two decision makers respectively interact. The interaction of the two decisions makers is mediated by the information one decision maker has about the other, and the service which is offered/used. We report different methods to address this dilemma, by agent based simulations, by game-theoretical approaches, and by estimating models of human behavior based on observed actions.

Short Biography

Francesco Corman holds the chair of Transport Systems at the Institute of Transport Planning and Systems, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He has a PhD in Transport Sciences from TUDelft, the Netherlands, on operations research techniques for realtime railway traffic control. He has academic experience at KU Leuven, Belgium and TUDelft as research associate in transportation and logistics. Main research interests are in the application of quantitative methods and operations research to transport sciences, especially on the operational perspective, public transport, railways and logistics.