Scholarly article on topic 'Improving the efficiency of weigh in motion systems through optimized allocating truck checking oriented procedure'

Improving the efficiency of weigh in motion systems through optimized allocating truck checking oriented procedure Academic research paper on "Civil engineering"

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{Location / "Axle load control" / "Weighing facilities" / "Road transportation" / Enforcement}

Abstract of research paper on Civil engineering, author of scientific article — Abbas Mahmoudabadi, Seyed Mohammad Seyedhosseini

Abstract In the present paper, an effective procedure is proposed to determine the best location(s) for installing Weigh in Motion systems (WIM). The main objective is to determine locations for best performance, defined as the maximum number of once-checked trucks' axle loads and minimizing unnecessary actions. The aforesaid method consists of two main stages, including solving shortest path algorithm and selecting the best location for installing WIM(s). A proper mathematical model has also been developed to achieve objective function. The number of once-checked trucks, unnecessary actions and average installing costs are defined as criteria measures. The proposed procedure was applied in a road network using experimental data, while the results were compared with the usual methods of locating enforcement facilities. Finally, it is concluded that the proposed procedure seems to be more efficient than the traditional methods and local experts' points of view.

Academic research paper on topic "Improving the efficiency of weigh in motion systems through optimized allocating truck checking oriented procedure"

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IATSS Research

Improving the efficiency of weigh in motion systems through optimized allocating truck checking oriented procedure

Abbas Mahmoudabadi a'*, Seyed Mohammad Seyedhosseini b

a Department of Industrial Engineering, Payam-e-Noor University, Tehran, ¡ran b Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science & Technology, Tehran, Iran

ARTICLE INFO

Article history:

Received 29 March 2012

Received in revised form 1 August 2012

Accepted 23 August 2012

Keywords: Location

Axle load control Weighing facilities Road transportation Enforcement

ABSTRACT

In the present paper, an effective procedure is proposed to determine the best location(s) for installing Weigh in Motion systems (WIM). The main objective is to determine locations for best performance, defined as the maximum number of once-checked trucks' axle loads and minimizing unnecessary actions. The aforesaid method consists of two main stages, including solving shortest path algorithm and selecting the best location for installing WIM(s). A proper mathematical model has also been developed to achieve objective function. The number of once-checked trucks, unnecessary actions and average installing costs are defined as criteria measures. The proposed procedure was applied in a road network using experimental data, while the results were compared with the usual methods of locating enforcement facilities. Finally, it is concluded that the proposed procedure seems to be more efficient than the traditional methods and local experts' points of view.

© 2012 International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.

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1. Introduction

Trucks' axles load control is one of the most essential issues in road transportation to prevent damage to infrastructures and improve road safety. Road infrastructure designs are based on permitted axle load and truck axle configuration [1]. If trucks' axle loads exceed the permitted ones, road surfaces will be deformed and considerable budget costs are required to repair them. On the other hand, trucks with excess axle loads, i.e. overloading, results in reduction of the reliability of trucks' braking system, increasing the stop distance and eventually increasing risk factors in road safety. Therefore, approved regulations exist on controlling axle loads to prevent infrastructures' damages and improve road safety [1].

It is vital for decision makers to know where to locate the systems used for axle load enforcement. In general, selection of enforcement devices sites is largely related to the links of high traffic volumes in the road network. This is no longer appropriate for installing WIM(s), because it rarely occurs that, axles' loads changed during the trip from origin to destination. So checking each truck only once would be more cost-effective method due to budget constraints. It is very important

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 21 84498604; fax: +98 21 88924461. E-mail address: mahmoudabadi@phd.pnu.ac.ir (A. Mahmoudabadi). Peer review under responsibility of International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences.

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to install the WIM(s) in optimized locations to achieve the maximum number of checked trucks.

Location allocation is a common problem in transportation, rescue services [2], improving accessibility to road health services [3], electrical and electronic waste treatment [4], and in other fields of engineering sciences. A number of mathematical models have also been developed to locate road facilities. Most of them, used in location problem, consider conflicting criteria [5] due to the nature of problems. For example, Masood et al. [6] proposed an integer goal programming model to locate the fire stations in the city of Dubai using some tangible and intangible criteria. They considered some technical and political issues in the process of modelling along with travel time and distance, while cost-effective studies were also considered in their model. Chan et al. [7] offered a method to solve the problem of locating signal stations to receive the sent signals by at least three stations. They developed a multi-objective integer programming model and showed that their model is more appropriate than heuristic methods, which design the stations by random locating and local search, to locate the signal stations. Perriera et al. [8] managed a comprehensive survey of mathematical models used in locating the winter maintenance facilities. He concluded that four levels of problem, including strategic, tactical, and operational level, and real-time control are required to be considered for routing vehicles modelling and locating the road winter maintenance stations. Shetwan et al. [9] also studied the models used in allocation of control stations in multistage manufactures and showed that the most common techniques, applied in problem solving are considered as integer and dynamic programming approach.

Some practical studies are available for ranking the areas or candidate links for the establishment of road transport facilities. Portugal et al. [10]

0386-1112/$ - see front matter © 2012 International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/! 0.1016/j.iatssr.2012.08.002

presented a procedure for realizing and ranking the candidate areas for building truck cargo terminals in Brazil. Kanaroglou et al. [11] developed a model to locate air pollution monitoring systems and showed that it is not necessary for locating air pollution monitoring systems in the areas with the high volume of traffic. Wang et al. [12] studied the problem of locating passenger refuelling stations, considering the economic issues together with higher services for inter-city trips. In another study, Wang et al. [13] studied locating road-vehicle refuelling stations based on the vehicle-routing logics using the matrix of origin-destination pairs. Their results demonstrate that larger vehicles are regarded more appropriate, need fewer stations, so they advise factories to pay more attention to larger vehicles. Laportetal. [14] solved the problem of locating stations in rapid transit lines, aim at acchieving the best coverage. Maximizing the coverage of prefixed stations was the objective function, while longest path type algorithm was used in model analyzing. Pierre [15] studied the problem of optimally locating rail-road terminals for freight transport and showed that the location of rail-road terminals has a significant role in rail transportation and terminal location would provide consequences on the entire European transportation system.

Two-step procedure of problem optimization is observed in the literature. Zhang et al. [16] presented a two-level procedure for space storage allocation in container terminals. At the first level, the total number of containers in each storage block and time period of the planning horizon is set to balance two types of workloads among blocks, at the second level, the number of containers associated with each vessel that contains the total number of containers in each block in each period, is determined in order to minimize the total distance to transport the containers between their storage blocks and the vessel berthing locations [16].

2. Scales and Weigh in Motion (WIM)

There are two types of static and dynamic scales used in the process of controlling axle loads. Using the static type, trucks must be stopped for checking. However, in the second one, the weights of truck axle loads are measured when the trucks pass over the scale [1]. One of dynamic systems is named weigh in motion, used to measure the weight of truck axles when trucks pass over the installed sensors in the pavement at high speed with the predefined accuracy [17].

Weigh in Motion (WIM) is a system equipped with an ability to measure the axle loads of vehicles, while trucks pass over installed sensors. Sensors are put beneath the asphalt layer surface to measure the amount of axle loads. Overloading is then detected based on data classification and axle configuration [17]. In the case of overloading, a picture of the vehicle is captured by a camera which is activated by the main part of system using sensors' data and analyzing axle loads based on authorized weights. The gathered data are normally transferred through a fibre optic device to the closest stop station and the vehicle is checked with high accuracy devices [17].

3. Problem definition and illustrative example

It is considered usual if transport decision makers locate the measuring facilities such as static scales or speed camera in the links with high traffic volume. Traditional practices have been considered to locate some control devices such as speed cameras in links with higher probability of over-speeding. This cannot be a good strategy for checking trucks' axle loads, because the amounts of them are rarely changed during the trip. Consequently, checking once is enough. The following example illustrates that selecting link with the highest traffic volume is not the optimum solution for installing the axle load measuring scales.

Assume that the road network G consists of 9 nodes and 10 links, shown in Fig. 1. As it is shown in the figure, the supplies of freight transport, measured by the number of trucks, are 150 and 450 for the origin nodes of 1 and 2, respectively. Demands of destination nodes are assumed by 100 and 500 for nodes 8 and 9, respectively. The link distance between nodes is shown as a number without parentheses beside each link. Shortest path technique is used to select the paths to carry goods to destinations and the results are shown in Table 1. The number of trucks calculated after solving the optimization model is placed beside each link in parentheses in Fig. 1. To further clear the case, note that the distance between nodes 3 and 6 is 75 km and the number of trucks planned to be passed on the link is 150, so the comment 75 (150) is placed beside link 3-6.

4. Defining the procedure

Solving the problem consists of shortest path algorithm and selecting the best location for WIM(s) simultaneously. A clear process has been utilized to simplify what might seem as difficult process. This process and the proposed model consist of the three following main stages, described more in the next sections:

1. Filling out the origin destination matrix using shortest path

algorithm

2. Developing a mathematical model to assign WIM(s) to links

3. Running model and comparing results

The first step is to calculate the number of trucks passing over the links during the time study, which is considered as a year in this research work. In this step, the origin-destination matrix is filled out based on the results of running shortest path algorithm for all origin-destination pairs together with due supplies and demands. In the second step, a mathematical model has been developed considering the problem concept, i.e. checking axle loads of trucks once, should be maximized which results in the minimization of unnecessary checks. It guarantees that the checked trucks will be maximized considering budget constraint. Finally, the third step compares results with the previous method of selecting links and the views of local experts. Fig. 2 presents the overall background of procedure, including all above-mentioned stages.

Table 1

Results of solving shortest path problem meeting supply and demands.

Problem Solve

Node Supply Demand O-D Quantity Path

1 150 0 1-8 100 1-3-6-8

2 450 0 1-9 50 1-3-6-7-9

8 0 100 2-8 0 -

9 0 500 2-9 450 2-5-7-9

Solving the first part of problem, the number of trucks, calculated for passing through the link ij to meet the supply and demand (od) is considered as Nodij. So, the total number of trucks, checked by the system installed in link ij, is considered as the maximum number of trucks passing through the origin-destination path. The mathematical model has been developed in three following stages of objective function, constraint, and simplifying the objective function.

5.1. Objective function

As mentioned earlier, the objective function is in maximizing the total number of once-checked trucks in road network. Developing the desired model is easily achieved by constructing a matrix containing the number of trucks, specified in each origin-destination pair and selecting links. In the illustrative example, the matrix is constructed in Table 2. As it is shown in Fig. 1, each origin-destination pair is met by the specified route obtained by shortest path algorithm, and the number oftrucks planned to pass in each link is calculated. For example, 100 trucks which are passing along the path 1-3-6-8 use links numbered as (1-3), (3-6), and (6-8). In Table 2, it is shown that if two WIM(s) installed in the links (3-6) and (7-9), 450 vehicles are checked in origin-destination (2-9) and the total number of vehicles are calculated as 600.

5. Developing the mathematical model

Assume that graph G introduces the road network of Fars province. For each link between origin and destination pairs of supply and demand, the number of trucks is assumed as (od). Consequently, there are OD pairs of supply-demand trucks considered in the model. Each link connects two nodes of the graph, introduced by ij, with the start node i and end node j.

Objective function is corresponding to the maximum number of once-checked trucks, after installing WIM(s). It seems obvious that objective function is formed by a Max(Max) type to meet the number of trucks in each pair of od(s). According to definition of objective given earlier, objective function is formulated as Eq. (1), where Xij (a binary variable) is 1 ifWIM assigned to link ij, and 0 otherwise.

Max E max(Nodij:

5.2. Constraint

Xij) V od e OD

In this research work, there is one constraint corresponding to the maximum number of available systems, mainly regarding to budgeting, defined by Eq. (2).

E Xij < Number of WIM(s)

5.3. Simplifying the objective function

Objective function is a two-level maximum of Max(Max), which should be converted into the one-level format, for which the internal

Fig. 2. Overall view of proposed procedure.

Table 2

The number of trucks, passed along paths and links.

Or. Des. Sup. (1-2) (1-3) (2-4) (2-5) (3-6) (4-6) (5-7) (6-7) (6-8) (7-9) Max T.

1 8 100 0 100 0 0 100 0 0 0 100 0 100

1 9 50 0 50 0 0 50 0 0 50 0 50 50

2 9 450 0 0 0 450 0 0 450 0 0 450 450

WIM 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0

part of objective function is transformed to the constraint, so the model is rewritten as follows:

Max E Mij (3)

Subject to:

Mij > Nodij x Xij V od e OD (4)

E Xij < Number of WIM (s) (5)

Xj _i 1 if WIM assigned tolinkij v j e g (6)

ij ~ \ 0 otherwise ij ( )

This is the general model to be solved by using data in the specific area. In the next section, the proposed procedure and model using available data along with comparing results are explained.

6. Running the model and discussion

At the first stage of running the model, Fars province, the second largest province in Iran, is nominated for case study because of data availability. Fig. 3 shows an overall view of Fars road network, consisting of 57 main nodes and 80 two-way links. Some of the nodes are considered as the border of province, used to connect the road network to other provinces. In this case, the number of vehicles entering the province are considered as supplies, while the number of vehicles departing the province are regarded as demands. Internal

supplies and demands are available, considering the other provinces or domestic nodes.

In the present paper, twenty-five origin-destination pairs of supplies and demands based on movement of goods have been gathered and used for running the model. A pre-defined matrix includes 80 rows, corresponding to the links, and 25 columns, corresponding to the OD pairs. Most of the OD pairs are related to the centre of provinces and inter-city demands and the others are local movements. The number of total WIM systems has been considered as 2, 3, 4, and 5 for sensitivity analysis.

The three main methods including traditional way, local experts' points of views, and the proposed procedure, have been used to evaluate model output. The first is the traditional method of selecting links, related to the highest traffic volume on links. The second is local experts' views, who are responsible in weighing systems in province of Fars, and they have an acceptable success consideration in the process of selecting links. Eventually, in the third method, the proposed procedure and the developed mathematical model have been used. The results have then been compared while two criteria considered for evaluating the model. The first is the total number of vehicles being checked over the WIM systems. The second is the number of unnecessary checks. Unnecessary check is defined as the number of vehicles, which had already been checked, so there is no reason to check them again. In other words, unnecessary checks are related to the vehicles which are checked more than once.

In Table 3, the selected links, the number of checked vehicles, and unnecessary checks are presented for different methods of traditional concerns, local experts' points of view, and the current proposed procedure. The results revealed that the best performance of location is

Fig. 3. A view of Fars province road network (case study).

Table 3

Selected WIMs sites based on different methods.

Number of total WIM systems

Traditional

Selected links (13-14), (1-2)

Checked vehicles 9100 Unnecessary checks 1200

(13-14), (1-2), (2-3)

(13-14), (1-2), (2-3), (3-4)

10,500

(13-14), (1-2), (2-3), (3-4), (7-9)

14,500

Local experts' view Selected links

Checked vehicles 8650

Unnecessary checks 1200

Proposed method Selected links (1-2), (13-14)

Checked vehicles 9100

Unnecessary checks 1200

(13-14) (13-11) (13-14), (13-11), (30-40) (13-14), (13-11), (30-40), (23-24) (13-14), (13-11), (30-40), (23-24), (47-49)

8850 2900

(1-2), (13-14), (13-51)

10,400

9850 4500

(1-2), (13-14), (13-51), (47-48)

11,300

10,150 4500

(1-2), (13-14), (13-51), (23-24), (47-48) 12,100 4300

corresponding to the proposed procedure with different number of installed system (2, 3, 4, and 5 stations). As it is shown in Table 3, in different number of systems, the total number of vehicles which have been checked over the sensors are more than the other methods, while the number of unnecessary checks seems the least. It means that the proposed method has the highest performance for locating WIM(s) for controlling truck axle loads in inter-city roads.

Three efficiency measures of percentage of checked trucks, percentage of unnecessary checks, and average cost per checked truck have been considered to compare the results shown in Table 4. The results show that except when two WIM(s) are installed, the proposed method is more efficient than the others. The accuracy for recording checked trucks are remarkable in the proposed method, while it might be increased to more than 80% with different numbers ofWIM systems. Unnecessary checked trucks are in the minimum percentages when the proposed method is used. It is not expected more than 36% but may reach 150% (average 1.5 times extra checking) if the traditional way of locating enforcement facilities is used. Finally, cost is the appropriate measure to compare results. Ifinstalling each WIM needs 200,000 USD, the best criterion of average cost per checked trucks belongs to the proposed method. In all numbers of installed WIM(s), the average cost of the proposed method is found less than the other methods.

Briefly, using the proposed method for locating WIM(s) provides conditions for achieving the best measures compared to the traditional method of locating systems in high traffic volume links and the concept of local experts' view points.

7. Summary and conclusion

In this research work, a typical problem of locating facilities in road transportation was discussed. Regarding the special property of WIM(s), checking trucks passing over weighing sensors, once is enough. This concept leads the policy makers to analyze the problem using solutions somewhat different from the usual methods. A simplified mathematical model combined with a three-stage procedure regarding the concept of checking vehicles was proposed to solve location allocation problem of WIM systems in road transportation.

Table 4

Efficiency measures of different methods for locating WIMs.

Number of total WIM systems 2 3 4 5

Traditional method Percentage of checked trucks 71 71 71 75

Percentage of unnecessary checks 13 64 115 152

Average cost per checked truck (US$) 44 66 88 105

Local experts' view Percentage of checked trucks 68 69 77 80

Percentage of unnecessary checks 14 33 46 44

Average cost per checked truck (US$) 46 68 81 99

Proposed model Percentage of checked trucks 71 82 89 95

Percentage of unnecessary checks 13 16 22 36

Average cost per checked truck (US$) 44 58 71 83

The procedure consists of three main stages of filling out the predefined origin-destination matrix, developing a mathematical model and running and comparing model outputs. Fars, one of the largest provinces in Iran, has been selected for model evaluation because of the availability of experimental data. It includes 57 nodes and 80 links and the data for 25 pairs of OD demand were gathered in the area of case study.

The location allocation problem has been solved utilizing three main methods of traditional method in selecting the highest traffic volume links, local experts' views, and the proposed method. Comparing results, derived by solving the mathematical model revealed that the proposed method is capable of achieving the best performance of WIM(s) site selection based on the maximum number of once-checked trucks and the minimum number of unnecessary checks.

In other words, regarding the number of once-checked trucks and unnecessary checks, it is revealed that the proposed concept of site selection for such kinds of road facilities is more efficient than other methods of traditional way and experts' points of view in location problem.

Moving towards future research, researchers are recommended to focus on the probable change in the routes which may be passed by drivers to avoid passing over WIM(s), when substituted routes are available.

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