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Reem Al Junaibi & Prof. Amro M. Farid present results of Abu Dhabi Electric Vehicle Technical Feasibility Study

In back-to-back conferences, Reem Al Junaibi and Prof. Amro M. Farid presented the results of their Abu Dhabi Electric Vehicle Technical Feasibility study.  Ms. Al Junaibi attended the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Connected Vehicles & Expo held December 2-6, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV, USA.  There, she presented the first published results of the study in the paper entitled:  “Technical Feasibility Assessment of Electric Vehicles : An Abu Dhabi Example”.  Meanwhile, Prof. Farid was invited to speak at the Gulf Traffic Conference held December 9-10 2013 in Dubai, UAE.

Both presentations revolved around the same theme.  The true success and feasibility of electric vehicles depends not just on the vehicle itself but also how it interacts with three large scale infrastructure systems:  the road transportation system, the power grid, and the intelligent transportation system.

Ms. Al Junaibi specifically presented some of the results of the study.  It considered twelve potential scenarios in which EV taxis were rolled out at a penetration of 3, 5 and 10% of road traffic with four possible charging system designs.  The results showed that if EV Taxi are to be deployed then their dispatching, queue management, charging and vehicle-2-grid stabilization activities must be simultaneously considered.  The ramifications of not doing so would be either degraded vehicle availability or high variable loads on the electric power grid or both.

Prof. Farid consequently argued that given the rapid push to transportation electrification and connected vehicles, intelligent transportation systems would better be considered as Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  In other words, the intelligent system consisting of monitoring, decision-making and dispatching functionality should have a transportation as well as energy management function.

Efforts are currently underway at the LIINES are currently underway to develop models and control solutions which may be directly integrated into Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems.  A full reference list of energy-transportation nexus research at LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Journal Paper Accepted at the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems: An Axiomatic Design Approach to Passenger Itinerary Enumeration in Reconfigurable Transportation Systems

The LIINES is happy to announce that The IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems has accepted our recent paper entitled:  An Axiomatic Design Approach to Passenger Itinerary Enumeration in Reconfigurable Transportation Systems for publication. The paper is authored by Dr. Asha Viswanath, Edgar Eugenio Samano Baca and Prof. Amro M. Farid.

The topic of path enumeration in a transportation network has a long history.  As one can easily imagine, we have been asking: “How many different ways can I get from here to there?”  for a very long time.  The question is fundamental to many operations research problems and has new applications in the resilience of infrastructure systems.  So why a new approach to such an old problem?

Well, as the paper explains, the traditional graph theoretic based method lacks in four ways:

  1. it does not explicitly describe the different potentially redundant modes of transport.
  2. it does not explicitly address the implicit functions of parking, loading/unloading, or sitting at an intersection.  Naturally, if these “null-processes” were somehow unavailable you might be stuck along your path for a very long time.
  3. given its highly abstracted nature, traditional graph theoretic methods do not integrate well with existing engineering design methodologies.
  4. it does not explicitly describe changes or reconfigurations to the transportation network structure in real-time and hence has limited application to the design of real-time reconfigurable transportation systems.

Instead, this paper presents a passenger itinerary enumeration approach based upon Prof. Nam Suh’s axiomatic design theory for large flexible systems.  Here, the system form and function are both explicitly described to overcome all of the weaknesses mentioned above.  The work has immediate relevance to transportation systems that require real-time switching decisions in their network structure.  Furthermore, many transportation system life cycle properties functionally depend on path enumeration.

Further applications of this work can already be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Using Axiomatic Design for the Temporary Housing of Refugees

As we mentioned in a previous blogpost, being a university professor at Masdar Institute sometimes presents opportunities to work on really interesting problems.  One such opportunity arose out of the ESM 501 System Architecture class in which students are encouraged to use Axiomatic Design towards final projects about their ongoing research.  Naturally, when Lindsey Gilbert presented to Prof. Farid the idea of using Axiomatic Design to help house refugees, he became quite interested.

We see many humanitarian crises around the world that sadly generate refugee populations.  Syria, Darfur, Pakistan and the Philippines are but a few trying examples.  The humanitarian challenge of meeting the basic needs of these refugee populations ultimately translates to a design challenge as well.  How can these refugees be quickly sheltered in adequate housing?   Refugee housing — by nature — is temporary.  It must be easily erected in response to the dynamic conditions but also just as easily dismantled to avoid the creation of ghettos long after the news cycle has shifted its spotlight to some other purpose.  But the temporary nature of this housing can not diminish the need for durability.  While the often depicted footage of refugee tents give some protection from the elements, rarely can these “first-responding” structures last for more than week or two.  For refugees, the road to normalcy begins with more solid structures that provide a sense of physical and emotional security — a place from which to literally rebuild.

Lindsey Gilbert’s work used Axiomatic Design to propose temporary housing built up of reconfigurable modules arranged into a product platform.  It also recognized that a good design would have to avoid the “one-size-fits-all” pitfalls of many “first-responding” structures.  At the heart of the concept was a “studio” module serving all of a person’s basic needs.   More advanced modules such as a bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms could be attached with standard interfaces to respond to the customized needs of couples and larger refugee families.  The work was ultimately published in the 2013 International Conference on Axiomatic Design and received an honorable mention for best paper.  The full text can be found through the LIINES website publication page.

Interestingly, Lindsey Gilbert’s work represented one of the first times that Axiomatic Design had been applied to a civil engineering application domain.   Present in the room were the organizers of the 2nd International Workshop on Design in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Lindsey’s work drew sufficient attention that he was ultimately invited to write a second paper on the application of axiomatic design to civil engineering applications.

As part of his master’s research, Lindsey continues to develop the design of his temporary housing concept and hopes that it will ultimately lead to practical benefits for future migrant populations.

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LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Prof. Amro M. Farid presents Reconfigurable Manufacturing System Research at IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Conference in Manchester, UK

A Reconfigurable manufacturing system is a system that is designed at the outset for rapid change in structure, as well as in hardware and software components, in order to quickly adjust production capacity and functionality within a part family in response to sudden changes in market or regulatory requirements.  The challenge in the design of such systems is how to enable such reconfigurations and why.   One piece in the design puzzle is production path enumeration.  On Wednesday October 16th, Prof. Amro M. Farid presented his latest work on Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems at the IEEE Systems Man and Cybernetics Conference, Manchester UK.  This paper entitled:  “An Axiomatic Design Approach to Non-Assembled Production Path Enumeration in Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems”  combines Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Systems with graph theory to present novel approaches to the design of reconfigurable manufacturing systems.

Full text of the paper and previous work may be found through the LIINES Website  publications page under paper code [RMS-C08].

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LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Prof. Amro M. Farid gives invited lecture at U.of Connecticut Mechanical Engineering Department

On September 24th, Prof. Amro M. Farid gave an invited lecture at the University of Connecticut Mechanical Engineering department.  The goal of the lecture entitled “Applications of Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Systems” strove to demonstrate how Axiomatic Design may be practically applied.  After a tutorial on the subject, the lecture highlighted the recent LIINES research on the application of Axiomatic Design to Temporary Housing and Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems.

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LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Research Theme Highlight Part I: Smart Power Grids

The Laboratory for Intelligent Integrated Networks of Engineering Systems maintains a research program composed of four complementary themes.  In the third of a four part series on the LIINES website,  the laboratory’s Smart Power Grid Research Theme is highlighted.  This work proposes the concept of Power Grid Enterprise Control as means of designing and assuring the holistic dynamic properties of power grids.

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Research Theme Highlight Part III: Smart Power Grids

The Laboratory for Intelligent Integrated Networks of Engineering Systems maintains a research program composed of four complementary themes.  In the third of a four part series on the LIINES website,  the laboratory’s Smart Power Grid Research Theme is highlighted.  This work proposes the concept of Power Grid Enterprise Control as means of designing and assuring the holistic dynamic properties of power grids.

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Research Theme Highlight Part IV: Industrial Energy Management

The Laboratory for Intelligent Integrated Networks of Engineering Systems maintains a research program composed of four complementary themes.  In the second of a four part series on the LIINES website,  the laboratory’s Industrial Energy Management Research Theme is highlighted.  This work brings together Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Systems, Graph Theory  and Design Structure Matrices to develop quantitative measures of reconfigurability.

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Research Theme Highlight Part II: Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems

The Laboratory for Intelligent Integrated Networks of Engineering Systems maintains a research program composed of four complementary themes.  In the second of a four part series on the LIINES website,  the laboratory’s Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems Research Theme is highlighted.  This work brings together Axiomatic Design for Large Flexible Systems, Graph Theory  and Design Structure Matrices to develop quantitative measures of reconfigurability.

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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