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NewESD-WP-2015-10 Challenges and Opportunities in Implementation of the Future California Rail Network

Submitted to the 95th TRB Annual Meeting.

Samuel Levy
(corresponding author)
Co-President, MIT Transportation Club
Master of Science, Transportation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Class of 2015
Cambridge, MA
Email: samlevy@alum.mit.edu

A. Awadagin Faulkner
B.S. in Civil Engineering Candidate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: afaulkner@mit.edu


Joseph M. Sussman
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: sussman@mit.edu

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) adopted a "blended system" at the northern and southern termini of the planned first phase of its high-speed rail line. In this blended operation, the high-speed rail line will share track and other infrastructure with commuter, intercity, and freight rail. However, the lack of common infrastructure among rail modes and the financial and organizational challenges associated with building that common infrastructure and capacity allocation in California present challenges for the implementation of high-speed rail via a blended system in the state. This paper reviews the blended system and discusses the level of cooperation and coordination necessary between host railroads/agencies and the high-speed rail tenant operator. Sharing track comes with challenges for all participating railroad operators and often requires coordination between heterogeneous rail traffic. However, costs can be reduced compared to dedicated track. How blended service is carried out will impact state and local agencies, railroad owners and operators, and customers across the California rail network.

ESD-WP-2015-09 Energy Resource Transportation Governance: Case Studies of The Alberta Oil Sands and The Argentinian Vaca Muerta Shale Oil Fields

Bruno Agosta
(corresponding author)
Director
AC&A
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Email: bagosta@acyaglobal.com

S. Joel Carlson
Consultant
CPCS Transcom Limited
Toronto, Canada
Email: jcarlson@cpcstrans.com

Joseph M. Sussman
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: sussman@mit.edu

In recent years, there has been increasing focus on the economic and other benefits of the development of “unconventional” sources of oil—resources that cannot be produced using traditional production techniques—partly due to the increased scarcity of conventional oil reserves. This paper compares and contrasts unconventional oil resources in Canada and Argentina. Canada has deposits of bitumen known as oil sands/tar sands. Bitumen is “a thick, sticky form of crude oil that is so heavy and viscous that it will not flow unless it is heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons” (Government of Alberta 2009), and when mixed with sand and clay, is known as the oil sands. In Argentina there are shale oil formations, which is crude oil found in low-permeability rock formations. The unconventional hydrocarbons in Canada (the oil sands) and Argentina (shale oil) are significant resources for both countries, especially when compared with their conventional reserves. Though the institutional structure is different in both countries—Canada’s oil and gas and transportation companies are privately-owned, whereas in Argentina, they are partially government owned—the rhetoric of the discussions seems to be similar in both countries: many are in favor of development due to the significance of the economic benefits. However, in both countries, the development of transport infrastructure has been hindered by different factors, on environmental grounds, notably with regard to concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions (in Canada) and lacking sufficient planning capabilities and institutional framework for long-term investments such as railroads (in Argentina).

ESD-WP-2015-08 DRAFT Model Brokerage: Concepts & A Proposal

David Hartzband
Research Affiliate
Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: dhartz@mit.edu

Effective & efficient utilization of models is essential for facilitating high productivity in many different types of organizations. If models could be shared across technical, temporal & organizational boundaries, much higher productivity could be realized. This would also be true if models could be combined in effective ways.

This work presents a result from model theory showing that for complex models, a small number of axioms (true statements of the models contents) can be used as a representation of the entire model. An analogy with multivariate analysis shows that this small set of axioms can be shown to contain the majority of the information in the model.

The implication is that much simpler models could be used for descriptive & predictive analysis, making these processes easier to compute & to understand.

ESD-WP-2015-07 Survey Design to Unravel Freight Transportation Demand of Establishments in Cities

Yin Jin Lee
PhD Candidate
Center for Transportation & Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: yinjin@mit.edu

Edgar Blanco
Principal Research Associate
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: eblanco@mit.edu

Lisa d’Ambrosio
Research Scientist
MIT AgeLab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: dambrosi@mit.edu

Christopher Zegras
Associate Professor
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: czegras@mit.edu

Freight transportation serves the vital role of fulfilling the goods demand of residents in cities, yet little is known about the mechanisms that generate freight movements and their impact on traffic. Even though technology may allow us to better trace real-time movements, establishment surveys are still important to collect data on strategic and tactical freight transportation decisions. Leveraging state-of-art knowledge, a survey was specifically designed to investigate freight travel demand. This paper shows the preparation, execution and data processing of a survey on establishments in Singapore. Analysis of the survey data allows us to explain variations in delivery, such as, the types of supplier, the size and frequency of goods deliveries, and the timing of deliveries.

ESD-WP-2015-06 Characteristics and Enablers of Transparency in Product Development Organizations

Ryan M. Shaffer
Research Assistant
System Design and Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: rshaffer@mit.edu

Alison Olechowski
Ph.D. Candidate
Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: alisono@mit.edu

Warren P. Seering
Weber-Shaughness Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Systems
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: seering@mit.edu

Mohammad Ben-Daya
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Systems Engineering Department
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Email: bendaya@kfupm.edu.sa

Risks in product development lead to schedule and cost overruns and poor product quality. While many risk management frameworks have been published and research on specific practices has been conducted, little is understood of key characteristics of successful risk management in product development and how they manifest in real development projects.

This research consists of two phases. The first phase is a survey on 171 best practices in risk management. Analysis of over 200 responses from industry practitioners identified transparency as a key characteristic of successful risk management in product development. Due to the limited exploration of the concept of transparency in the literature, the second phase of this work consisted of a qualitative investigation of transparency through interviews with 15 industry practitioners. Analysis of the interview results suggests a hierarchical structure which decomposes transparency into several characteristics and identifies enablers for each of these characteristics.

We propose that transparency can be a valuable lever for product developers and managers. Future work is needed to validate the generalizability of the observations provided.

ESD-WP-2015-05 Modeling The Cost of International Trade in Global Supply Chains

Edgar E. Blanco
Principal Research Associate
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: eblanco@mit.edu

Eva Ponce-Cueto
Associate Professor
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
Visiting Professor
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: eponce@mit.edu

In a global economy, international trade plays an important role of the economic development. This is especially relevant in emerging markets, where trade could contribute significantly to the economic growth of the country. Many studies have pointed out the relationship between logistics performance and the volume of bilateral trade. Limão and Venables (2001) analyze transport costs, Hummels (2001) analyzes transport time and Hausman et al. (2013) evaluate the impact of specific improvements in logistics performance in terms of time, cost and reliability (variability in time) on increased trade.

International Trade ads complexity as goods move across borders where are subject to import and export activities that increase lead times and variability on financial and physical flows (e.g. more documents per trade transaction, more signatures per trade transaction, export clearance, and customs inspection). Also, these global supply chains often involve more actors and agencies that support the trade process such as inspection agencies and custom brokers. Surveys aimed at calculating these costs suggest that they may range from 2% to 15% of the value of traded goods.

This paper provides a general framework to model the impact of international trade of a global supply chain. A cost function is proposed for the buyer, the seller and the upstream suppliers that explicitly refers to the additional elements of international trade. The model is applied to compare the impact of different Incoterms rules (see section 3.2.1) in an International Trade taking into account the total cost of the supply chain Blanco, E.E. and Ponce-Cueto, E. – MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics – March 2015 2 for the main actors, including the buyer (importer) and the seller (exporter).

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 includes a succinct literature review of relevant papers in global trade management, and more specifically a review of those papers that focus on the total cost in global supply chains. Section 3 defines the global supply chain under study and presents the key events in a global trade. A total global trade function is formulated in Section 4, one function cost for buyers and another for upstream sellers. In section 5 the supply chain costs under various trade scenarios are presented and a numerical example is developed in order to illustrate the applicability of the model. Discussion and conclusion are included in section 6.

ESD-WP-2015-04 Analysis of Capacity Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms in Shared Railway Systems: Lessons for the Northeast Corridor

Maite Peña-Alcaraz
(corresponding author)
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: maitepa@mit.edu

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: sussman@mit.edu

Mort Webster
Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Energy and Mineral Engineering
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
Email: mdw18@psu.edu

Recently, governments have started promoting the use of shared railway systems as a way to take advantage of the existing capital-intensive railway infrastructure. Until 1988, all major railways both managed the infrastructure and operated the trains. In contrast, in shared railway systems, multiple train operators utilize the same infrastructure. Such systems can achieve high utilization, but also require coordination between the infrastructure manager and the train operators. Such coordination, in turn, requires capacity planning and regulation that determines which trains can access the infrastructure at each time, capacity allocation, and the access price they need to pay, capacity pricing. The need to establish capacity pricing and allocation mechanisms in the railway system is relatively new and the comparative performance of alternative mechanisms to price and allocate capacity is still a matter of study. This paper proposes a framework to analyze the performance of shared railway systems under alternative capacity pricing and allocation mechanisms. The paper focuses on how the introduction of price-based and capacity-based mechanisms affect the train operators’ ability to access the infrastructure capacity in the context of the Northeast Corridor in the US. The results of this paper suggest that there are trade-offs associated with each mechanism and none of them is superior to the other on all dimensions. As a result, Northeast Corridor stakeholders should carefully analyze the implications of alternative pricing and allocation mechanisms before locking the system into one of them.

ESD-WP-2015-03 Eco-Growth: A Framework for Sustainable Growth

Edgar E Blanco
Principal Research Associate
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: eblanco@mit.edu

Yossi Sheffi
Elisha Gray II Professor of Engineering Systems
Director, MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: sheffi@mit.edu

Growth is imperative for corporate success and yet the environmental impact of this growth is not sustainable. In this paper we offer a framework for thinking about the stages of tackling the environmental sustainability challenge. It ranges from eco-efficiency, which includes initiatives that reduce costs while reducing environmental footprint; eco-alignment, including initiatives requiring cooperation with suppliers and customers; eco-innovation, which includes initiatives based on innovative products and processes; and eco-growth which includes initiatives contributing to the company’s growth, combining all the others. The second part of the paper offers a framework for analyzing the trade-off between shareholders objectives and sustainability objectives. The framework is based on the concept of the efficiency frontier and is used to tie to the four proposed stages of tackling environmental sustainable growth.

ESD-WP-2015-02 A Survey of Methods for Data Inclusion in System Dynamics Models

James Houghton
Research Associate
Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: houghton@mit.edu

Michael Siegel
Principal Research Scientist
Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: msiegel@mit.edu

Anton Wirsch
Research Assistant
System Design and Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: anton@sloan.mit.edu

Allen Moulton
Research Scientist
Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: amoulton@mit.edu

Stuart Madnick
John Norris Maguire Professor of Information Technology and Professor of Engineering Systems
MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT School of Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: smadnick@mit.edu

Daniel Goldsmith
Research Affiliate
Sloan School of Management        
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: goldsmith@mit.edu

In 1980, Jay Forrester enumerated three types of data needed to develop the structure and decision rules in models: numerical, written and mental data, in increasing order of importance. While this prioritization is appropriate, it is numerical data that has experienced the most development in the 25 years since Forester made his enumeration. In this paper, we’ll focus on how numerical data can be incorporated into models when written and mental data are known, and survey the techniques for doing so.

ESD-WP-2015-01 Homophily and the Speed of Social Mobilization: The Effect of Acquired and Ascribed Traits

Jeff Alstott
Pre-doctoral IRTA
Section on Critical Brain Dynamics, National Institute of Mental Health;
and
PhD Student
Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry
University of Cambridge
Email: jja34@cam.ac.uk

Stuart Madnick
John Norris Maguire Professor of Information Technology and Professor of Engineering Systems
MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT School of Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: smadnick@mit.edu

Chander Velu
Assistant Professor
Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering
University of Cambridge
Email: c.velu@eng.cam.ac.uk

Large-scale mobilization of individuals across social networks is becoming increasingly prevalent in society. However, little is known about what affects the speed of social mobilization. Here we use a framed field experiment to identify and measure properties of individuals and their relationships that predict mobilization speed. We ran a global social mobilization contest and recorded personal traits of the participants and those they recruited. We studied the effects of ascribed traits (gender, age) and acquired traits (geography, and information source) on the speed of mobilization. We found that homophily, a preference for interacting with other individuals with similar traits, had a mixed role in social mobilization. Homophily was present for acquired traits, in which mobilization speed was faster when the recuiter and recruit had the same trait compared to different traits. In contrast, we did not find support for homophily for the ascribed traits. Instead, those traits had other, non-homophily effects: Females mobilized other females faster than males mobilized other males. Younger recruiters mobilized others faster, and older recruits mobilized slower. Recruits also mobilized faster when they first heard about the contest directly from the contest organization, and decreased in speed when hearing from less personal source types (e.g. family vs. media). These findings show that social mobilization includes dynamics that are unlike other, more passive forms of social activity propagation. These findings suggest relevant factors for engineering social mobilization tasks for increased speed.

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