Aircraft re-routing optimization and performance assessment under uncertainty

Xiaoge Zhang, Sankaran Mahadevan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The need for aircraft re-routing arises when there is disruption in the system, such as when an airport is closed due to extreme weather. In this paper, we investigate a simulation-based approach to optimize the aircraft re-routing process, by considering multiple sources of uncertainty. The proposed approach has four main components: system simulation, uncertainty representation, aircraft re-routing algorithm, and system performance assessment. Several sources of uncertainty are accounted for in this approach, related to incoming aircraft, space availability in neighboring airports, radar performance, and communication delays. An aircraft re-routing optimization model is formulated to make periodic re-routing decisions with the objective of minimizing the overall distance travelled by all the aircraft, subject to the system resources. We analyze the performance of this aircraft re-routing system using system failure time as the metric. Since the simulation time is limited, right-censored data arises with respect to system failure time. A novel methodology is developed to compute the lower bound of system failure time in the presence of right-censored data, and to analyze the sensitivity of the system performance metric to the uncertain variables relating to the aircraft, radars, nearby airports, and communication system. Since the simulation is time-consuming, we build a Support Vector Regression (SVR) surrogate model to efficiently construct the system failure time distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalDecision Support Systems
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Air traffic control
  • Censored data
  • Performance assessment
  • Reliability analysis
  • Support vector regression
  • Uncertainty quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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