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  • Informatics Colloquium 2. 5. Why should the authorities lie to you

    Informatics Colloquium 2. 5. 2017, 14:00 lecture hall D2 Dr. Jakub Mareček, IBM Ireland Research Laboratory Why should the authorities lie to you Abstract: Many real-world problems in Transportation Engineering are, in effect, control problems with rather limited identifiability of the underlying non-linear problems. Consider, for instance, the problems of information provision: an authority measures the travel times across the network, announces the travel times to the public, who base their route choices on the announced travel times, and are measured, eventually. The relationship between the number of concurrent users of a road-segment and the time they spend traveling across the segment is non-linear; the route choice is not deterministic and one cannot "perfectly excite the system", as in lie to the public, without the public noticing and changing their behaviour. At the same time, it is clear that many approaches currently in use are failing: consider two parallel routes and the authority announcing two distinct travel times (historical, current, or forecast by any method whatsover). Most drivers pick the route announced as faster, thereby congesting it (and invalidating any forecast). Similar issues arise in traffic control systems, which control traffic lights at junctions. In a series of papers, we have developed an approach to closed-loop analyses of such systems and we will present some of the key insights. Short biography: Jakub Marecek is a research staff member at IBM Research. Together with some fabulous colleagues, Jakub develops solvers for optimisation and control problems in IBM's Smarter Cities Technology Centre. His recent work includes polynomial optimisation in power systems, policies for bi-level optimisation, and a stream processing system for urban traffic management (called "Insight"), which has just won the 5th Annual Award for Excellence by ITS Ireland. Jakub is also the principal investigator for VaVeL, an H2020 project within the "Big Data" call, and a programme committee member for AISTATS 2017 and ICAPS 2017. Prior to joining IBM in August 2012, Jakub had worked on distributed solvers for non-smooth convex optimisation problems at the University of Edinburgh and on integer programming at the University of Nottingham. Jakub grew up in Brno, the Czech Republic, where he had worked in two start-up companies before studying for his first two degrees at Masaryk University.

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