Max Z. Li wins two best paper awards

The International Conference on Research in Air Transportation awarded Li Best Paper for Network Management and UAS/UAM/AAM

It was a busy week for Assistant Professor Max Z. Li at the International Conference on Research in Air Transportation (ICRAT 2022), where two papers on which he was senior author received best paper awards. 

The biennial conference is jointly sponsored by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EUROCONTROL, and showcases research in air transportation systems and air traffic management.

His paper, “Airline disruption management with delay ledgers,” won best paper in the Network Management track and was co-authored with Christopher Chin, Hamsa Balakrishnan, and Karthik Gopalakrishnan. This research proposes a novel procedure that enables airlines to better re-schedule flights during disruptions such as thunderstorms and inclement weather. The proposed procedure is guaranteed to lower airline delay costs, incentivizes airline participation, and supports flexible airline privacy preferences. Evaluating the procedure across 30 days with 8 major US airlines resulted in average reductions in delay costs of 8-22% per day compared to current approaches.

The paper “Routing with privacy for drone package delivery systems” won best paper in the UAS/UAM/AAM track, and was co-authored with Geoffrey Ding, Alex Berke, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Kwassi H. Dengue, and Hamsa Balakrishnan. This paper focuses on the future when drones are increasingly being used to deliver goods from vendors to customers, and highlights a significant privacy risk for customers using these delivery services: Third-party observers may leverage broadcast drone trajectories to link customers with their purchases, potentially resulting in a wide range of privacy risks. The work in this paper proposes a quantifiable definition of privacy risk, and evaluates the impacts of various factors (e.g., drone capacity, routing efficiency) on privacy and delivery wait times.

Presentation of best paper awards; from left, Prof. Hartmut Fricke (Europe Program Chair), Prof. Max Z. Li, and Prof. David Lovell (US Program Chair)

Max Z. Li is an assistant professor in the aerospace engineering department whose research focuses on air transportation systems, airport and airline operations, UAM/AAM, networked systems, and optimization and control. He directs the LATTICE Lab at the University of Michigan College of Engineering.