Modeling Crowdsourced Urban Delivery: System Design, Solicitation Mechanisms, and Algorithmic Development

Zou Seminar: Modeling Crowdsourced Urban Delivery:

March 8, 2019

Bo ZouUniversity of Illinois at Chicago's Bo Zou presented  Modeling Crowdsourced Urban Delivery: System Design, Solicitation Mechanisms, and Algorithmic Development at the Transportation Seminar on March 8, 2019 at 4-5 p.m. in 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building. 


Last-mile urban delivery is undergoing a challenging and exciting time with the rapid growth in e-commerce. In this talk, we present three system designs for crowdshipping, which concerns intra-urban shipments that can be picked up and delivered using a crowd of ordinary people (i.e., crowdsourcees). The first design considers biking and walking crowdsourcees close to customers and relaying parcels with a truck carrier to undertake the last leg of package delivery and the first leg of package pickup. The problem of selecting interested crowdsourcees and coordinating crowdsources’ itinerary with truck operations is formulated as a mixed integer nonlinear program and solved efficiently by developing a problem-tailored tabu search based algorithm. The second design focuses on developing a mechanism that assigns crowdsourcees to shipping requests by accounting for time compatibility and individualized payments based on each crowdsourcee’s willingness to perform delivery. The mechanism is design such that strategic information misreporting by crowdsourcees can be avoided. The third design investigates on-demand, time-guaranteed delivery of shipping requests with distributed origins and destinations. The design involves developing a multi-start multiwave algorithm for fast and efficient online matching between shipping requests and crowdsourcees, as well as introducing relocation strategies to dynamically balance crowdsourcee supply and shipping request demand. Numerical experiments are presented to demonstrate the applicability and merit of each design.  


Bo Zou is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering, and an affiliated faculty member of the Urban Transportation Center and Center for Supply Chain Management and Logistics, all at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also a faculty partner of the National University Rail (NURail) Center and the Center of Excellence for Airport Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bo received his Ph.D. in transportation engineering (University of California at Berkeley, with minors in industrial engineering and operations research, and economics), M.S. in transportation planning and management (Tsinghua University), Diplôme d’Ingénieur in general engineering (Ecole Centrale de Nantes), and B.E. in civil engineering (Tsinghua University).