High performance computing techniques applied to the design of complex railway infrastructures

13 March, 2017

In this work we will focus on overhead air switches design problem. The design of railway infrastructures is an important problem in the railway world, non-optimal designs cause limitations in the train speed and, most important, malfunctions and breakages. Most railway companies have regulations for the design of these elements.
Those regulations have been defined by the experience, but, as far as we know, there are no computerized software tools that assist with the task of designing and testing optimal solutions for overhead switches. The aim of this thesis is the design, implementation, and evaluation of a simulator that that facilitates the exploration of all possible solutions space, looking for the set of optimal solutions in the shortest time and at the lowest possible cost.
Simulators are frequently used in the world of rail infrastructure. Many of them only focus on simulated scenarios predefined by the users, analyzing the feasibility or otherwise of the proposed design. Throughout this thesis, we will propose a framework to design a complete simulator that be able to propose, simulate and evaluate multiple solutions. This framework is based on four pillars: compromise between simulation accuracy and complexity, automatic generation of possible solutions (automatic exploration of the solution space), consideration of all the actors involved in the design process (standards, additional restrictions, etc.), and finally, the expert’s knowledge and integration of optimization metrics.
Once we defined the framework different deployment proposes are presented, one to be run in a single node, and one in a distributed system. In the first paradigm, one thread per CPU available in the system is launched. All the simulators are designed around this paradigm of parallelism. The second simulation approach will be designed to be deploy in a cluster with several nodes, MPI will be used for that purpose. Finally, after the implementation of each of the approaches, we will proceed to evaluate the performance of each of them, carrying out a comparison of time and cost. Two examples of real scenarios will be used.


title={High performance computing techniques applied to the design of complex railway infrastructures},
author={G{\’o}mez Carrasco, Carlos},