An integrative assessment of the commercial air transportation system via adaptive agents
Lim, Choon Giap
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The overarching research objective is to address the tightly-coupled interactions between the demand-side and supply-side components of the United States Commercial Air Transportation System (CATS) in a time-variant environment. A system-of-system perspective is adopted, where the scope is extended beyond the National Airspace System (NAS) level to the National Transportation System (NTS) level to capture the intermodal and multimodal relationships between NTS stakeholders. The Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation technique is employed where the NTS/NAS is treated as an integrated Multi-Agent System comprising of consumer and service provider agents representing the demand-side and supply-side components respectively. Successful calibration and validation of both model components against the observable real world data provided a CATS simulation tool where the aviation demand is estimated from socioeconomic and demographic properties of the population instead of merely based on enplanement growth multipliers. This valuable achievement enabled a 20-year outlook simulation study to investigate the implications of a global fuel price hike on the airline industry and the U.S. CATS at large. Simulation outcomes revealed insights into the airline competitive behaviors and the subsequent responses from transportation consumers.