Purdue University Graduate School
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Mechanism design for complex systems: bipartite matching of designers and manufacturers, and evolution of air transportation networks

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posted on 2018-12-20, 20:46 authored by Joseph D. ThekinenJoseph D. Thekinen
A central issue in systems engineering is to design systems where the stakeholders do not behave as expected by the systems designer. Usually, these stakeholders have different and often conflicting objectives. The stakeholders try to maximize their individual objective and the overall system do not function as expected by the systems designers.

We specifi cally study two such systems- a) cloud-based design and manufacturing system (CBDM) and b) Air Transportation System (ATS). In CBDM, two stakeholders
with conflicting objectives are designers trying to get their parts printed at the lowest possible price and manufacturers trying to sell their excess resource capacity at maximum pro ts. In ATS, on one hand, airlines make route selection decision with the goal of maximizing their market share and pro ts and on the other hand regulatory bodies such as Federal Aviation Administration tries to form policies that increase overall welfare of the people.

The objective in this dissertation is to establish a mechanism design based framework: a) for resource allocation in CBDM, and b) to guide the policymakers in channeling the evolution of network topology of ATS.

This is the rst attempt in literature to formulate the resource allocation in CBDM as a bipartite matching problem with designers and manufacturers forming two distinct set of agents. We recommend best mechanisms in different CBDM scenarios like totally decentralized scenario, organizational scenario etc. based on how well the properties of the mechanism meet the requirements of that scenario. In addition to analyzing existing mechanisms, CBDM offers challenges that are not addressed in the literature. One such challenge is how often should the matching mechanism be implemented when agents interact over a long period of time. We answer this question through theoretical propositions backed up by simulation studies. We conclude that a matching period equal to the ratio of the number of service providers to the arrival rate of designers is optimal when service rate is high and a matching period equal to
the ratio of mean printing time to mean service rate is optimal when service rate is low.

In ATS, we model the evolution of the network topology as the result of route selection decisions made by airlines under competition. Using data from historic decisions we use discrete games to model the preference parameters of airlines towards explanatory variables such as market demand and operating cost. Different from the existing literature, we use an airport presence based technique to estimate these parameters. This reduces the risk of over- tting and improves prediction accuracy. We conduct a forward simulation to study the effect of altering the explanatory variables on the Nash equilibrium strategies. Regulatory bodies could use these insights while forming policies.

The overall contribution in this research is a mechanism design framework to design complex engineered systems such as CBDM and ATS. Speci cally, in CBDM a matching mechanism based resource allocation framework is established and matching mechanisms are recommended for various CBDM scenarios. Through theoretical and
simulation studies we propose the frequency at which matching mechanisms should be implemented in CBDM. Though these results are established for CBDM, these
are general enough to be applied anywhere matching mechanisms are implemented multiple times. In ATS, we propose an airport presence based approach to estimate
the parameters that quantify the preference of airlines towards explanatory variables.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jitesh H. Panchal

Additional Committee Member 2

Daniel DeLaurentis

Additional Committee Member 3

Ilias Bilionis

Additional Committee Member 4

William A. Crossley

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