Self-Organizing Redistribution of Bicycles in a Bike-Sharing System based on Decentralized Control
Thomas Preisler, Tim Dethlefs, Wolfgang Renz
Citation: Proceedings of the 2016 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, M. Ganzha, L. Maciaszek, M. Paprzycki (eds). ACSIS, Vol. 8, pages 1471–1480 (2016)
Abstract. Currently, bike-sharing systems undergo a rapid expansion due to technical improvements in the operation combined with an increased environmental and health awareness of people. When it comes to the acceptance of such systems the reliability is of great importance. It depends heavily on the availability of bicycles at the stations. But, in spite of truck-based redistribution efforts by the operators, stations still tend to become full or empty, especially in rush-hour situations. This paper builds upon an incentive scheme that encourages users to approach nearby stations for renting and returning bikes, thereby redistributing them in a self-organized fashion. A cooperativeness parameter is determined by the fraction of users that respond to an incentive by choosing the proposed stations. It uses a decentralized control process to calculate alternative rent and return stations for each of the stations. These alternatives are then proposed to the users when they approach an empty or full station. The approach is based on a decentralized control framework that allows to equipping different distributed software systems with the control capabilities needed to realize the coordination efforts required to achieve the desired self-organizing properties.
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