Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



Empty taxi cruising represents a wastage of resources in the context of urban taxi services. In this work, we seek to minimize such wastage. An analysis of a large trace of taxi operations reveals that the services’ inefficiency is caused by drivers’ greedy cruising behavior. We model the existing system as a continuous time Markov chain. To address the problem, we propose that each taxi be equipped with an intelligent agent that will guide the driver when cruising for passengers. Then, drawing from AI literature on multiagent planning, we explore two possible ways to compute such guidance. The first formulation assumes fully cooperative drivers. This allows us, in principle, to compute systemwide optimal cruising policy. This is modeled as a Markov decision process. The second formulation assumes rational drivers, seeking to maximize their own profit. This is modeled as a stochastic congestion game, a specialization of stochastic games. Nash equilibrium policy is proposed as the solution to the game, where no driver has the incentive to singly deviate from it. Empirical result shows that both formulations improve the efficiency of the service significantly.


Multiagent Systems, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Game Theory


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering | Transportation

Research Areas

Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics


Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence: Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Conference, August 15-17, 2012 Catalina Island

First Page


Last Page





AUAI Press

City or Country

Corvallis, OR

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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