Development of an integrated flexible transport systems platform for rural areas using argumentation theory

Nagendra R. Velaga, Nicolas D. Rotstein, Nir Oren, John D. Nelson, Timothy J. Norman, Steve Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Flexible transport systems (FTS) offer a promising approach to improving the efficiency and performance of passenger transportation services. FTS aim to provide passengers with flexibility in choosing routes, times, modes of transport, service provider and payment systems. In order to achieve this additional flexibility, a well-designed FTS integrate different modes of transport, possibly spanning multiple service providers, to provide more sophisticated, comfortable and cost-effective transport opportunities. The concept of flexible transport is not new; many existing systems, including shared taxicabs, Dial-A-Ride services, and car-clubs, contain elements of such a system. In this paper, we concentrate on FTS within rural areas, which generally suffer from lack of service availability and demand uncertainties, and for which existing FTS solutions are not well suited. We present an agent-based flexible transport systems platform developed using argumentation theory. Formal argumentation is a powerful technique borrowed from artificial intelligence, and in this context is used to weigh-up the conflicting choices available to both passengers and service providers. The resultant platform for FTS in rural areas acts as a virtual transport market place that would more effectively match existing demand and supply for transport services than existing solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Transportation Business & Management
Early online date15 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • flexible transport systems
  • rural transport
  • argumentation theory


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