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Hazardous Materials Transportation with Multiple Objectives: A Case Study in Taiwan


Hazardous material (hazmat) transportation has been an important issue for handling hazardous materials, such as gases and chemical liquids. In the past, researchers have made great efforts to develop policies and route planning methods for hazmat transportation problems. In 2014, Kaohsiung City in Taiwan suffered a gas pipeline explosion at midnight; 32 people were killed, and hundreds of people were injured. After the incident, policies and routing strategies for hazardous materials (hazmat) transportation in Kaohsiung were initiated to avoid pipeline transportation. Although methodologies for hazmat transportation have been proposed and implemented to minimize potential risks, multiple objectives need to be considered in the process to facilitate hazmat transportation in Taiwan.

In order to consider both government and operators’ aspects, a multi-objective formulation for the hazmat problem is proposed and a compromise programming method is applied to solve the problem with two objectives: travel cost and risk. The path risk is defined based on risk assessment indexes, such as road characteristics, population distribution, link length, hazardous material characteristics, and accident rates. An aggregate risk indicator is proposed for roadway segments. The compromise programming approach is developed from the concept of compromise decision and the main idea is to search the compromise solution closest to the ideal solution. The proposed method is applied to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. The results show that two conflicting objectives keep making trade-offs between each other until they finally reach a compromise solution.

by Ta-Yin and Ya-Han Chang

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