, McKnight Distinguished Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Henry Liu, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
The recent loss of life and traffic jams stretching for tens of miles as hurricanes Rita and Katrina approached the Gulf Coast demonstrate the enormous difficulty of evacuating urban areas. Mass evacuations are among the most difficult problem areas in Transportation Science because they violate key assumptions underlying traditional theories, e.g., Wardrop equilibrium among selfish commuters. A key challenge in this domain is to develop an understanding of non-equilibrium traffic dynamics over transportation networks to support the development of emergency traffic management techniques. This is a formidable task due to the data-intensive nature of the problem and the semantic gap between current database management systems and transportation science. The goal of this project is to research novel and scalable data management concepts to aid in the development of novel transportation science models and theories to understand emergency traffic. This effort includes collaborative computer science research to probe innovative database concepts underlying network non-equilibrium dynamics data and queries, and new fundamental research on database support for time-variant graphs and flow networks.