Demand-Responsive Transport: Models and Algorithms

Lauri Häme

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Demand-responsive transport is a form of public transport between bus and taxi services, involving flexible routing of small or medium sized vehicles. This dissertation presents mathematical models for demand-responsive transport and methods that can be used to solve combinatorial problems related to vehicle routing and journey planning in a transport network. Public transport can be viewed as a market where demand affects supply and vice versa. In the first part of the dissertation related to vehicle routing, we show how a given demand for transportation can be satisfied by using a fleet of vehicles, assuming that the demand is known at the individual level. In the second part, by considering the journey planning problem faced by commuters, we study how the demand adapts to the supply of transport services, assuming that the supply remains unchanged for a short period of time. We also present a stochastic network model for determining the economic equilibrium, that is, the point at which the demand meets the supply, by assuming that commuters attempt to minimize travel time and transport operators aim to maximize profit. The mathematical models proposed in this work can be used to simulate the operations of public transport services in a wide range of scenarios, from paratransit services for the elderly and disabled to large-scale demand-responsive transport services designed to compete with private car traffic. Such calculations can provide valuable information to public authorities and planners of transportation services, regarding, for example, regulation and investments. In addition to public transport, potential applications of the proposed methods for solving vehicle routing and journey planning problems include freight transportation, courier and food delivery services, military logistics and air traffic.
Translated title of the contributionDemand-Responsive Transport: Models and Algorithms
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Valkeila, Esko, Supervising Professor
  • Nevanlinna, Olavi, Supervising Professor
  • Hakula, Harri, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-5162-8
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-5163-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • demand-responsive transport
  • public transport
  • graph problems
  • algorithms
  • networks
  • discrete optimization
  • stochastic optimization
  • Markov decision process
  • economics of transportation


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