Metamodels for estimating waterway delays through series of queues

Melody D.M. Dai, Paul Schonfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical method has been developed for estimating delays on congested waterways. Analytic and numerical results are presented for series of G/G/1 queues, i.e. with generally distributed arrivals and service times and single chambers at each lock. One or two-way traffic operations are modelled. A metamodelling approach which develops simple formulas to approximate the results of simulation models is presented. The structure of the metamodels is developed from queueing theory while their coefficients are statistically estimated from simulation results. The numerical method consists of three modules: (1) delays, (2) arrivals and (3) departures. The first estimates the average waiting time for each lock when the arrival and service time distributions at this lock are known. The second identifies the relations between the arrival distributions at one lock and the departure distributions from the upstream and downstream locks. The third estimates the mean and variance of inter-departure times when the inter-arrival and service time distributions are known. The method can be applied to systems with two-way traffic through common bi-directional servers as well as to one-way traffic systems. Algorithms for both cases are presented. This numerical method is shown to produce results that are close to the simulation results. The metamodels developed for estimating delays and variances of inter-departure times may be applied to waterways and other series of G/G/1 queues. These metamodels for G/G/1 queues may provide key components of algorithms for analyzing networks of queues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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