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Institute of Transportation Studies Friday Seminar, Oct 24

55 min 4 sec ago
Forecasts will play an increasingly important role in the the next generation of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems. Applications include transportation, energy, manufacturing and healthcare systems. Predictions of systems dynamics, human behavior and environment conditions can improve safety and performance of the resulting system. However, constraint satisfaction, performance guarantees and real-time computation are challenged by the growing complexity of the engineered system, the human/machine interaction and the uncertainty of the environment where the system operates.

Institute of Transportation Studies Friday Seminar, Oct 31

55 min 4 sec ago
Adaptive traffic signal control systems are an emerging technology for urban arterial operations. This presentation focuses on the current status of adaptive traffic signal control system applications in the U.S. An overview of adaptive signal system deployments is first presented. Some insights of the advantages and drawbacks will be given. The results from some field before-after studies will be discussed. One particular issue is related to how a comparison is made against the time-of-day coordination plans. Potential biases can result if the comparison is against non-optimal time-of-day coordination plans. Signal optimization software does not necessarily generate truly optimized signal timing plans. Errors often result during the timing implementation process due to various factors. The presentation will also include a demo of a Smartphone based application called SMRT (Signal Management and Re-timing Tool) for facilitating field signal timing diagnoses and implementations.

Institute of Transportation Studies Friday Seminar, Nov 7

55 min 4 sec ago
Transportation-related air pollution, GHG emissions and energy problems are a significant issue in the U.S., China, and across the world. The World Health Organization estimates that urban air pollution causes 200,000 deaths per year worldwide and that it will be responsible for 8 million premature deaths from 2000 to 2020. Sacrificing transportation needs for environmental quality is simply infeasible since transportation provides a vital wheel for economic development.

Institute of Transportation Studies Friday Seminar, Dec 12

55 min 4 sec ago
Despite growing interest in urban consumption amenities, little is known about their origin and importance. This paper estimates the consumption value of urban density by combining travel microdata with Google’s local business data. This dataset allows to integrate travel costs into a discrete choice model for restaurants. I find that in high density areas, consumers enjoy large benefits from visiting places that they prefer, and relatively smaller gains from shorter trip time. These results demonstrate the importance of non-tradable consumption in explaining the value of cities, and represent the first estimates of the gains from variety in the service sector.

Communicating Environmental Risks: Are Ex-Ante Predictions of Benefits and Costs Being Accurately Estimated?, Oct 1

October 1, 2014 - 10:00pm
Energy and Resources Group Fall 2014 Colloquium Series (ER295)

Institute of Transportation Studies Friday Seminar, Sep 26

September 26, 2014 - 10:00pm
This talk presents a robust control framework applied to transportation problems in which the state is modeled by a first order scalar conservation law. Using an equivalent formulation based on a Hamilton-Jacobi equation, we pose the problem of controlling the state of the system on a network link, using boundary flow control, as a Linear Program. Unlike many previously investigated transportation control schemes, this method yields a globally optimal solution and is capable of handling shocks (i.e. discontinuities in the state of the system). This framework can handle networked control problems or robust control problems, and is extremely fast, since it leverages the intrinsic properties of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation used to model the state of the system.

Wireless Sensor Networks for Flash Flood and Traffic Monitoring in Urban Environments, Sep 24

September 24, 2014 - 11:00pm
This talk describes a new architecture for distributed flash flood and traffic monitoring in cities using combined Eulerian and Lagrangian sensing. Unlike current traffic sensor networks, the architecture maintains user privacy by using a distributed computing approach.

In this system, probe vehicles broadcast speed data to local nodes, which estimate vehicles location. Fixed sensors also measure traffic parameters, and all traffic data is forwarded to local coordinator nodes. Using the classical LWR traffic flow model, we show that the traffic reconstruction problem results in a set of MILPs, which can be efficiently solved by all nodes using distributed computing, the coordinator node supervising all computations. With this approach, user privacy is maintained, in the sense that no vehicle track data is forwarded beyond the radio range of the node cluster.

Christian Claudel is an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical engineering at KAUST. He received the PhD degree in EECS from UC Berkeley in 2010, and the Ms degree in Plasma Physics from Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in 2004. He received the Leon Chua Award from UC Berkeley in 2010 for his work on Mobile Millennium. His research interests include control and estimation of distributed parameter systems, wireless sensor networks and environmental sensing systems

Live broadcast at Ask questions live on Twitter: #CITRISRE. All talks may be viewed on our YouTube channel

The schedule for the semester can be found on the CITRIS site.

UC Davis: 1065 Kemper Hall
UC Merced: COB 322-Willow
UC Santa Cruz: SOE E2 Building, Room 595B

Registration through eventbrite is required for lunch at UC Berkley.

Deadly Discipline, Sep 24

September 24, 2014 - 11:00pm
In the field of logistics, the work of militaries and markets has long been heavily entwined. But how did the ‘revolution in logistics’ – arguably the most understudied revolution of the 20th century - transform the nature of this intimate entanglement? How did this revolution, and the attendant rise of a ‘business science of logistics’, recast global trade and battle space?

In this colloquium Dr. Cowen tracks the recent life of logistics, from the biopolitics of the battlefield to the boardroom, and back again. She examines a series of key events - from the rise of petroleum warfare, to the birth of the modern supply chain, to the crisis of the ‘Somali pirate’- to highlight the ubiquity of logistics and the profound political, economic and martial transformations that remain hidden in plain sight. Not simply a technocratic field of management, logistics is a highly political technoscience that governs the geopolitics of circulation, recasting state borders and blurring the boundaries of war.

Economic analysis of climate change policy: what determines the social cost of carbon?, Sep 24

September 24, 2014 - 11:00pm
Energy and Resources Group Fall 2014 Colloquium Series (ER295)

Big Data: A Data-driven Society?, Sep 22

September 22, 2014 - 10:00pm
In the first part of this talk, I will review how Big Data is enabling a data-driven economy, look at what to do with Big Data, and look at the consequences of a society being reshaped by “systematically building on data analytics”. In the second part of the talk, I will outline some of the Big Data research challenges in three areas: Data, Processes, and Management. I will then conclude making a case for Big Data for Social Good: my aim is to show that Big Data can be leveraged to better serve the people who generate the data, and ultimately the society in which we live.

Webinar: Cleaning The Grid With “Second Life” Electric Vehicle Batteries, Sep 19

September 19, 2014 - 10:00pm
Repurposed electric vehicle batteries could provide a major new source of inexpensive energy storage, but only if policy makers and businesses invest in that opportunity now. Please join representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission and the Governor's Office as they discuss Berkeley Law's new report "Reuse and Repower: How to Save Money and Clean the Grid with Second-Life Electric Vehicle Batteries." The webinar will summarize the key findings from the report, which will be released publicly on Wednesday, September 15th at the Battery Show conference in Novi, Michigan. Space is limited. To register, visit:

The Politics of Pipes: Water and the "Modern Infrastructural Ideal" in Manila and LA, Sep 17

September 17, 2014 - 10:00pm
Energy and Resources Group Fall 2014 Colloquium Series (ER295)