Analyzing Incentives in Landing Slot Problems
Tuesday, 17 December, 2013

On December 12, Dr. Azar Abizade of the School of Business at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy held a seminar at ISET about flight rescheduling problems and the incentives for airlines to report their preferences. Research into this problem was conducted according to mechanism design and matching theory.

Airports schedule landing slots far in advance of their actual execution, but sometimes due to bad weather or other extreme conditions, the schedule becomes inefficient or unfeasible. Some flights are canceled and some are delayed. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aim is to implement a mechanism that will automatically reassign slots to flights based on the information reported by the airlines.

Dr. Abizada modeled the problem and reinterpreted it as a two-sided matching problem. On the one side of the matching are flights, on the other are the slots, with their artificial preferences overflights. According to this model, airlines are asked to report flights’ feasible landing times, cancelations, and their so-called weights. The latter represents the relative delay costs of the different flights of one airline. In contrast to the above-mentioned model, the FAA does not require information about delay costs and the FAA‘s mechanism is manipulable by intentional flight delays. A variant of the well-known Gale and Shapley algorithm, Deferred and Acceptance with Self Optimization, which the presenter and his co-author used in their paper, induces prompt and truthful reporting of flight cancellations. This approach also offers a number of other advantages.

ISET would like to thank Dr. Abizada for providing an exciting presentation about an exotic, but very practical, topic.