General Information

Student: Daniel Brown
Office: Core 434
School: Rutgers University
E-mail: Danielb5@pegasus.rutgers.edu
Project: The Greeness of a Traffic Path

Project Description

The impact of pollution produced by vehicular traffic is one of the most prominent factors affecting public health and the environmental. The phenomenon is of importance in major cities and countries worldwide. According to the 2009 Annual Energy Review of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the share of energy used in transportation amounts to 27%. New technologies for info-mobility provide consistent sources of data on traffic for most urban areas. I will be using the data available on the web to develop graph theoretic algorithms to estimate the pollution effect, and thus determine the Greenest path. This problem focuses on choosing the "least polluting" route when driving from a starting position (A) to your destination (B).

Weekly Log

Week 1:
The week began with move-ins on Sunday where I became familiar with my roommates as well as the other students participating in the DIMACS REU Program. We all engaged in several "ice breaker" activities to get to know one another by name. By the middle of the week I got an in-depth explanation on the project I will be researching and began brushing up on graph theory. Dr.Fiorini recommended several books that I took a look at; I also watched several YouTube videos about graph theory and researched sustainability.
Week 2:
This week is primarily geared toward research of graph theory and the understanding of major concepts and algorithms.
Week 3:
This week was rather interesting. The week started off with a trip to upstate New York, and no we didn't go there to gauge the dramatic increase in their gas prices. We all got the opportunity to visit IBM's headquarters and sit in on several lectures ranging from applied linear algebra concepts to cryptography. We also had the opportunity to see the world's fastest computer. Later this week I was assigned more readings from my mentor Kellen, which included advanced concepts in Circulations and Flow in Network.Towards the ending of this week, I began writing a report summarizing the priliminary ideas that I've come up with in essay form and submitted it to Gene.
Week 4
Flow in networks was my main focus this week.The seminars this week were very insightful and gave me more ideas to implement into my project. Right now it feel as though the time is winding down so I plan to try and make some sort of model in the upcoming weeks to get a visual on my ideas then work on constructing a presentable model for the final weeks.
Week 5
This week I spent the majority of my time trying to closely relate the fundamentals of graph theory to my assigned question. There are still many principles that I could learn more about just as there are several questions I have about the project. I plan to address all of these questions and begin working on constructing a test case next week with close guidence from my mentor Kellen. Next week will be a lot of work but I think that my weeks of background research should have me prepared.
Week 6
This week I began to develop a model for my project.These weight will be ranked from 1-10 of course 10 being the highest weight meaning the greatest pollution will occur here. I have managed to grab a map from here(nichols) to Manhattan NY as my directed graph. I am not finished, but I have went through and ranked two suggested paths by google based on left turn frequency. I have presented a test case and a partial model to my menotor Kellen and he informed me to focus more on isolating the variables that will directly reduce pollution using the Cut/ Flow methods.
Week 7
The final touches to my powerpoint is completed and I am now ready to present my ideas. Directly following my presentation I will begin to spend the majority of my time working on the final report.
Week 8
This week I spent my time finishing up and revising my final report.


Additional Information


Greeness refers to the cleaniness of the air in reference to air pollutants such as vehicular emissions. The EPA estimates that 50-90% of air pollution in urban areas is due to automotive emissions, so how do we reduce these numbers? That is one of many question my research attempts to answer. Several factors that reduce our level of greenness include but are not limited to: travel time, lane capacity, traffic regulations, weather conditions, and GPS systems. As a part of my research, I will use these factors and gradually find others that will all be taken into deep consideration to produce the greenest route.

Some Famous Quotes

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him."
-David Brinkley

"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
-Charles Darwin