Traffic routes are important for our society: Looking at the road or rail network, it becomes more critical for industry and public sector, as growing traffic, limited capacity and complicated business processes depend on a functioning road and rail network. Thus, the reliability and vulnerability of a transport network is a highly critical factor.
Accidents often show how vulnerable transport infrastructure is, and remember how easy transport, leisure travel and even communication can be disrupted. This raises the question of how reliable a transport mode can be used.
The study LNR (Lifeline Network Reliability) is to quantify the reliability of the Austrian road and rail network concerning any triggering events and supply basics for the enhancement of the risk-management of the infrastructure operators. The idea is the generation of a generic description of the networks, which can be analysed by triggering events. An event can for instance be a huge construction site, a societal mega-event, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster or a pandemic, which reduces, overloads or destroys the capacities of a network. The consequences on the collective body and the single user will be investigated.
Specific aims are the creation of a generic approach concerning the vulnerability of the infrastructure networks road and rail, the implementation of an analytical process in order to verify this generic approach and the collection of project relevant data from different data sources.
The study is divided in 5 work packages. In work package 1 different terms and approaches concerning reliability are viewed and project-relevant data from different data sources are stored in a meta-database. Work package 2 and 3 serve the generation of a reliability database and the prototype of an analysis program (WP 2) and the creation of a generic approach concerning reliability (WP 3). In work package 4 scenarios are worked out and run through the analysis program, while in work package 5 the results of the study are shared and discussed with decision makers of the project partners, infrastructure operators and other organisations within the frame of a workshop.
The result of this study is a theoretical manual to evaluate the availability of the infrastructure with a risk-oriented approach. This approach is applied on a sub-network, for which reasonable data exists. In order to reach this aim, mathematic approaches like the graph theory are combined with probalistic approaches. Moreover approaches like data mining in simplified form (for instance Online Analytical Processing), the “theory of the best scaling” or the “Ant Colony Optimization” from the bionic are used.
In more detail, the subject of the project is the use of Bayesian networks to model the probability aspect in the node relationships. The overall process from identifying potential data sources for the task to the operational use means high personnel expenses. The data must be projected onto a topological network. Such data is available for the road thanks to the database BAUT. The project is not able to give operational statements regarding the reliability; it can only provide some examples of a test track. Furthermore, the utilization of some relevant data sources was achieved. Within the project partners, there was a rise in awareness regarding the topics Bayesian networks and reliability. At the final presentation of the project a predominantly positive response to the application of this approach for an infrastructure network has been observed.
Findings of the study are published by a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT):