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Title: Vulnerability analysis of road network
Author: Liu , Mei
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The vulnerability analysis of road networks has been receiving increased attention due largely to such disparate events as earthquakes and terrorist attacks. The current evaluations of performance of a road network tend to focus on the change of traffic .demand on the network .and the probability of damage events. A major difficulty is the forecasting of low-probability high-consequence events. The research described in this thesis examines the problem from the perspective of identifying the weakest or most vulnerable parts of the network. A new method to examine the vulnerability of road network systems has been developed. The purpose is to identify weaknesses in the form of the network independent of a model of traffic demand or other hazards. The core ideas are based on a previously developed theory of structural vulnerability together with graph theory and road traffic theory. Road networks are represented by graphs and the features of vertices and links are studied. The structural vulnerability theory is applied to road networks in the perspective of systems thinking, which is also the basis for the application of road vulnerability analysis to other network systems, such as railway networks, water pipe networks, electricity networks and the Internet. The major achievements include: (a) the development of a graphical and theoretical model of road circuits, (b) the presentation of a model that describes the relationship of traffic flow and speed) (c) the identification of new measures of road links and circuits such as the transmittance of road links and the well-formedness of road circuits, (d) the development of a new concept of a road cluster and the development of an algorithm for forming clusters, (e) the restructuring of a road network at various hierarchical levels of definition using sets of interconnected road clusters, (f) the development of an algorithm to unzip the hierarchical model so that various failure scenarios may be identified, (g) the examination of the potential applications of the analysis to other transport network systems, (h) the implementation of algorithms into computer programs and user-interactive windows using MATLAB. A selection of various examples of road networks has been used to demonstrate and test the analysis. It is concluded that high vulnerability failure scenarios for a road network are not always obvious and they may be low probability high impact scenarios. Through these scenarios the vulnerable parts of large road networks are identified so that they can be monitored and maintained to be a better form, which would increase robustness and reduce risk. The vulnerability analysis of road networks is potentially of use in the procedures of road network planning and performance improvement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available