Fall 2008 UMASS Amherst
Operations Research / Management Science Seminar Series

Date: Friday, November 7, 2008

Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Isenberg School of Management, Room 112

Speaker: Professor Senay Solak

Department of Finance and Operations Management
  University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Biography: Dr. Senay Solak is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management in the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he teaches and conducts research in the areas of optimization and simulation. Dr. Senay Solak received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007. He also holds an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. In addition to his university experience, Dr. Solak has served as a naval officer for seven years, and worked as an analyst in the Planning Department of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Dr. Solak’s primary research interest is in the development of deterministic/stochastic models and solution methods for logistics system design and control. Of particular interest are problems related to network design and air transportation planning. His secondary interests include portfolio optimization for capital investment projects, especially under endogenous uncertainty.

TITLE: Air Traffic Flow Management in the Presence of Uncertainty
Abstract: Demand is or will soon be close to the available capacity in National Airspace System.  As a result, small reductions in capacity will lead to significant traffic congestion and delay throughout the U.S. airspace. Convective weather and variations in the times that aircraft are in a given volume of airspace due to uncertainties in their departure times and trajectories can have a significant negative impact on airspace throughput. In fact, convective weather is the major cause of airspace capacity loss. While aircraft will continue to avoid convective weather for the foreseeable future, progress can be made in dealing with the uncertainties inherent in weather predictions.  Specifically, it is possible to reduce capacity limitations due to uncertainty as to the location, timing and severity of adverse weather events. In this study, we characterize the effect on throughput of these and all other relevant factors, and develop optimization algorithms for traffic flow management in the presence of uncertainty, particularly uncertainty with regards to weather. To this end, we present a two step approach. In the first step we parameterize the weather and traffic patterns that occur within the U.S. airspace, and then develop a probabilistic model for sector capacity in future time intervals. In the second step, we develop optimization algorithms for single generic sector traffic flow management using stochastic programming and discuss generalizations of these to multiple sectors, where aircraft are dynamically routed in response to the evolving conditions in the sectors.
This series is organized by the UMASS Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter. Support for this series is provided by the Isenberg School of Management, the Department of Finance and Operations Management, INFORMS, and the John F. Smith Memorial Fund.

Dr. Anna Nagurney, the John F. Smith Memorial Professor of Operations Management in the Isenberg School of Management, is the Faculty Advisor of the Speaker Series.