Tech UPTechnologyTired of waiting for the bus? Use math

# Tired of waiting for the bus? Use math

A team of researchers from the University of Burgos (UBU) has designed a system that reduces both waiting times at bus stops in that city and the duration of trips . The method is based on a mathematical strategy called “taboo search” , which uses learning methods and classifies certain options as “forbidden” (taboo), thus avoiding falling into already generated solutions.

For example, in the process of finding solutions if a stop has just left a route, that stop is marked as “taboo” and it is not allowed to be part of that route again for a specified number of iterations (repetitions) “, explains Joaquín Pacheco, coordinator of the study.

The result of the “taboo search” has allowed the design of slight modifications in the current lines of the city , such as the itinerary passing through one street instead of another or eliminating some nooks and crannies, in addition to proposing a new reassignment of the bus fleet. With these improvements, for now they have already managed to reduce waiting times at Burgos bus stops from 20 to 17 minutes , and the average duration of trips from 16 to 13.5 minutes.

The method can also be used in other locations, according to its creators. In fact, similar techniques are already being applied in Castilla-La Mancha and the Balearic Islands to reduce the costs of school transport routes and the waiting time of students at stops.

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