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Title: Modelling blue-light ambulance mobility in the London metropolitan area
Author: Poulton, Marcus J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9115
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Actions taken immediately following a life-threatening incident are critical for the survival of the patient. In particular, the timely arrival of ambulance crew often makes the difference between life and death. As a consequence, ambulance services are under persistent pressure to achieve rapid emergency response. Meeting stringent performance requirements poses special challenges in metropolitan areas where the higher population density results in high rates of life-threatening incident occurrence, compounded by lower response speeds due to traffic congestion. A key ingredient of data-driven approaches to address these challenges is the effective modelling of ambulance movement thus enabling the accurate prediction of the expected arrival time of a crew at the site of an incident. Ambulance mobility patterns however are distinct and in particular differ from civilian traffic: crews travelling with ashing blue lights and sirens are by law exempt from certain traffic regulations; and moreover, ambulance journeys are triggered by emergency incidents that are generated following distinct spatial and temporal patterns. We use a large historical dataset of incidents and ambulance location traces to model route selection and arrival times. Working on a road routing network modified to reflect the differences between emergency and regular vehicle traffic, we develop a methodology for matching ambulances Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates to road segments, allowing the reconstruction of ambulance routes with precise speed data. We demonstrate how a road speed model that exploits this information achieves best predictive performance by implicitly capturing route-specific patterns in changing traffic conditions. We then present a hybrid model that achieves a high route similarity score while minimising journey duration error. This hybrid model outperforms alternative mobility models. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to apply data-driven methodologies to route selection and estimation of arrival times of ambulances travelling with blue lights and sirens.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available