RT 47 – Stefan Voß – Transit Robustness, data and the state of the research field

RT 47 – Stefan Voß – Transit Robustness, data and the state of the research field

Researching Transit – Episode 47

Published: June 2023

Keywords: Public transport, data science, big data, scheduling, robustness, digital twin, scientometric analysis, impact factor

In this episode Professor Graham Currie meets with Professor Stefan Voß, who is Director of the Institute of Information Systems and (until the end of 2022 was) the Dean of the Hamburg Business School at the University of Hamburg. Stefan has a background in mathematics, computer science and related fields. He and Graham discuss this and the fields of operations and information management, including the application of artificial intelligence and heuristics to public transport and other scheduling problems. Stefan outlines research he has done on timetable synchronisation (sometimes referred to as timetable coordination). Much of this has been in partnership with industry, and Stefan and Graham briefly discuss some of the challenges of publishing research within the constraints of commercial confidentiality.

Robustness in transport systems is another of Stefan’s other areas of research interest.  He outlines work he has done on the Hamburg public transport system looking at predicting service delays and developing a mathematical formulation of robustness.

Stefan was also an co-author on A Scientometric Analysis of Public Transport Research, published in the Journal of Public Transportation (DOI: http://doi.org/10.5038/2375-0901.18.2.8, available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol18/iss2/8). This paper undertook a broad review of the Public Transport research, looking at key authors, journals and other aspects of the field.  Graham and Stefan discuss the use of Impact Factors in assessing the importance of research outputs, and Stefan highlights how the scientometric analysis findings might suggest that the current emphasis on Impact Factor may not provide a full picture of which publications are particularly important to the field.

Moving on to discuss upcoming research, Stefan talks about his current work using digital twins to better understand power usage at container terminals. Graham and Stefan briefly discuss how similar issues of power supply may be turning out to be a problem for public transport depots that need to provide electric bus recharging.  Stefan also talks about how digital twins might support research into, and the management of, public transport networks.

Find out more about Stefan and his work at:


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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date June 4, 2023
  • Tags Podcast