Abstraction and Modeling Hypothesis for Future Transportation Architectures
DeLaurentis, Daniel A.
Schrage, Daniel P.
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The goal of a future transportation architecture is an expansion in mobility, enabling new types of travel and commerce currently not affordable and thus producing induced societal benefit. From the design perspective, the complexity, high dimensionality and diverse nature of the design space make study of such architectures extremely difficult. An abstraction framework and modeling hypothesis are proposed, steps vital to the proper start of such an aggressive challenge. The core entities within a transportation architecture are abstracted: stakeholders (consumers, regulators, service providers, etc.), resources (vehicles, infrastructure, etc.) and networks (both explicit for resources and implicit for stakeholders). This abstraction leads to a general description for transportation that is useful from a conceptual modeling point of view stakeholders employ particular resources, organized in networks, in order to achieve mobility objectives. The modeling hypothesis is created stemming from the description and focused upon the need to examine the architecture from a system-of-systems perspective, under the belief that the organization of transportation resources is just as important as the nature and performance of those resources. Subsets of the methodologies are tested on three exploratory research thrusts and the findings are used to project a future path towards full validation of the modeling hypothesis. Ultimately, decision-makers at multiple levels can use the methodologies to quickly understand and visualize the relative merits of alternative architectures.