Service Analytics Research Group

Research Projects

E-Fulfillment for Attended Last-Mile Delivery Services in Metropolitan Areas

This is a joint project with Prof. Dr. Ehmke (OVGU Magdeburg). The project focuses on the planning of attended last-mile delivery services. Last-mile delivery services such as recently available food delivery in Germany (e.g. AllYouNeedFresh, Bringmeister, REWE) offer comfortable food delivery within a customer chosen time window. The time of order delivery is frequently the sole physical contact between e-commerce supplier and customer. Therefore, this event is decisive with regard to customer satisfaction and perceived product quality. History shows: When delivery services are not realized in an efficient and customer-oriented manner, the underlying business model is not competitive. Particularly in metropolitan areas, logistics service providers have to rise to the challenge of successfully planning attended last-mile delivery services considering uncertain demand and traffic conditions. In metropolitan areas, the high population density offers great potential for e-commerce, while the varying traffic conditions increase uncertainty of delivery.

Find more information on the project’s website
Simulation laboratory for evaluating new planning approaches in attended deliveries

From Toys to Tools – Calibrating Agent-Based Simulations for Business Decision Support

This project aims to create a methodological framework to effectively and efficiently calibrate agent-based simulations that can support business decisions. The overarching objective is to move the methodology of agent-based simulations in business research one step closer to that of simulations in the natural sciences: By enabling more rigorous, quantitative validation, new methods of calibration will make such simulations more credible and thereby make them a more useful research tool.

Mining Supply and Demand Decisions for Children's Day Care

In cooperation with Arie M.C.A. Koster, Christina Büsing, and the city of Aachen, we analyse data and planning approaches for demand management in children's day care. From sign-up and contract data, the project will develop and test hypotheses on family and provider behaviour as dependent on choice modelling as well as geographical as well as socio-demographic factors. This project serves to prepare a large-scale market simulation that will support the development and evaluation of alternative market mechanisms in this field.

Shared transport of passengers and freight

The increasing volume of deliveries to small businesses and consumers contributes to increasing congestion and environmental pollution particularly in urban areas. Combining passenger and freight transportation could be a solution to efficiently allocate resources and reduce traffic.

However, most customers have high expectations on the speed and punctuality of deliveries, and multiple planning decisions on an operative, tactical and strategic level are required. Prescriptive analytics can help to find the best planning solutions for a variety of complex transport situations. However, a single optimisation model can hardly take every planning aspect into account.  

The project aims to develop a simulation tool that can evaluate the interplay of different optimisation problems and highlight bottlenecks in given settings. Furthermore, it aims to extend existing planning approaches to find more holistic and approachable solutions.

Schematische Darstellung des Transportnetzes

Schematic representation of the transportation network.
Within an infrastructure for public transport (e.g., a tram network), the cargo transport starts at a central distribution centre (CDC). Subsequently, the freight is carried to selected stations, from where a further transport to the final customer is possible. 

For more information, please contact Lena Hörsting


Relevant publications: 

  • Cleophas C, Cottrill C, Ehmke JF, Tierney K, 2019, Collaborative urban transportation: Recent advances in theory and practice. European Journal of Operational Research 273(3):801-816.
  • Current Working Paper: Hörsting L and Cleophas C, 2021, Scheduling Shared Passenger and Freight Transport on a Fixed Infrastructure. Available at SSRN:

Analytics technologies usage and acceptance

The vital goal of analytics technologies in constructing an intelligence program that could supplement or complement human decisions, depends on its usage. The understanding and predict that “How” and “Why” people use and trust on analytic technologies is one of the most interested topics in IS field.   

This project aimed to review the approaches and applied models who tried to describe or predict the interactions between human and analytical technologies.

For more information, please contact Peyman Kazemi