Agent-based Modelling and Simulation of Airline Operations Control Decision-Making under Uncertainty

More Info


Motivated by the need to understand and further optimize AOC decision making processes under uncertainty, this paper implements and evaluates the effects of operational uncertainties using Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation. The specific application concerns a challenging scenario composed of two consecutive disruptions. To evaluate the effects of uncertainties, an agent-based model of AOC processes has been developed using a logic-based ontology. Subsequently, this agent-based model is used to analyze the sensitivities of different model parameters. The simulation results provide novel insights into the effects of operational uncertainties on AOC decision-making and consequently airline performance. For the aircraft breakdown scenario considered, it is shown that adding buffers into the schedule promote a degree of self-recovery. The sensitivity analysis also reveals that transit buffer time and crew duty slack time act as tipping points for the airline operating costs. This demonstrates that ABMS allows to analyze and bring into light various sensitivities, which can be used in the early design phase to increase airline resilience, and train airline controllers for different environment states. The paper concludes that ABMS is a valuable approach that can enable a paradigm shift from reactive recovery to proactive recovery.