In recent years, there has been a growing interest in congestion pricing as a tool for solving traffic congestion problems in urban areas. However, the transportation system is complex and to design a congestion pricing scheme, i.e. to decide where and how much to charge the road users, is not trivial. This thesis considers congestion pricing schemes based on road tolls, and the efficiency of a pricing scheme is evaluated by a social welfare measure. To assist in the process of designing congestion pricing schemes, the toll design problem (TDP) is formulated as an optimization problem with the objective function describing the change in social welfare. In the TDP, the road users are assumed to be distributed in the traffic network according to a Wardrop equilibrium. The TDP is a non-convex optimization problem, and its objective function is non-smooth. Thus, the TDP is considered as a hard optimization problem to solve.
This thesis aims to develop methods capable of optimizing both toll locations and their corresponding toll levels for real world traffic networks; methods which can be used in a decision support framework when designing new congestion pricing schemes or tuning already implemented ones. Also, this thesis addresses the global optimality of the TDP. '
In this thesis, a smoothening technique is applied which approximates the discrete toll location variables by continuous functions (Paper I). This allows for simultaneous optimization of both toll locations and their corresponding toll levels, using a sensitivity analysis based ascent algorithm. The smoothening technique is applied in a Stockholm case study (Paper II), which shows the potential of using optimization when designing congestion pricing schemes.
Global optimality of the TDP is addressed by piecewise linear approximations of the non-linear functions in the TDP (Papers III and IV), resulting in a mixed integer linear program (MILP). The MILP can be solved to global optimality by branch and bound/cut methods which are implemented in commercially available software.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 48 p.
2012-05-09, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:00 (English)