ENCE 688R Projects, Spring Semester, 2013

[ Project 1 ]: Modeling Connectivity Relationships in Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams
[ Project 2 ]: Modeling and Simulation for Resilient Civil Systems in Developing Regions
[ Project 3 ]: Formal Model of a United States Airport System
[ Project 4 ]: Object-Oriented Modeling of Railways
[ Project 5 ]: Modeling Cities with Higraphs
[ Project 6 ]: Tank Structure Modeling and Visualization
[ Project 7 ]: Creation of a Social Networking System
[ Project 8 ]: Optimal Road Alignment for the I-70 Mountain Corridor


Title: Modeling Connectivity Relationships in Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams
Author: Binyam Abeye

Abstract: In today's plant manufacturing world, one document reigns supreme during all lifecycle phases of a project. That document is the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID). This process diagram provides information crucial to design, procurement, and construction of the plant, which includes every mechanical aspect of the plant. These diagrams exclude operating conditions, stream flows, equipment locations, piping routing (pipe lengths, pipe fittings), and support, structures, and foundations.

Figure 1. A simple piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID).
(Source https://controls.engin.umich.edu/wiki/images/c/cd/ReactorSystemPID.jpg)

The main problem with P&IDs is that they are difficult to understand. Figure 1 shows for example a simple P&ID. Many of the symbols and labels are not intuitive to understand. Also, with so many symbols for connections, instruments, and equipment designers may seem overburdened by the vast amount of information that needs to be learned. If there were intuitive software to help in the development of P&IDs that also verified connectivity, then the process of making P&IDs would be easier.

For this class project, I am proposing to use a mixed graph to model P&IDs. The graph will include equipment, lines, valves, and instruments. These graphs will show connectivity between equipment and line as well as from equipment to other components. Also to start, as small subset or P&ID component will be used for building the graph.

To implement this graph, Jena 2.10 will be examined as well as other graph building java software. To display the graphs, java graphing software such as Jena Jung will be investigated. Lastly, a GUI will be developed to show how users can develop a P&ID and how the connectivity and other rules work.



Title: Modeling and Simulation for Resilient Civil Systems in Developing Regions
Author: David Prentiss

Abstract: Agencies committed to international development are beginning to realize the importance of resilience to economies, livelihoods and communities in the face of climate change and recurring natural disasters. However, because of the complexity of these systems, defining and quantifying their resilience has proven difficult. This project focuses on the challenges presented by the geospatial complexities of models and data for assessing resilience. To that end we will develop software in the Java language to facilitate the construction of models extended in a geospatial context, putting them to data, and analyzing the results. Ultimately, the goal is to create a tool capable of assessing the resilience of a wide variety of civil systems.

Initially, the project will address a single use case: The user will import a spreadsheet containing historical, staple-food market data that is loosely geo-referenced by municipality. The system will convert this data to a geospatial price average and display this information to the user in a GIS view. The system will make use of Neo4j, a graph based database manager implemented in Java. This embedded database will serve as the data store for the imported data and for the data generated by the system.

Future versions of the system will also make use of Neo4j to store user-generated models of geospatial systems and perform the simulations used in the analysis of resilience.


Title: Formal Model of a United States Airport System
Author: Peter Linnehan

Abstract: According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), air traffic growth is expected to rise by more than 90 percent in the next 20 years. To accommodate this demand, new technologies and aircraft are being developed and integrated into airports across the country. Some of the most visible new planes are the Airbus A380 and Boeing Dreamliner, which are classified as super heavy transport (SHT). These larger aircraft are envisioned in the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen is the FAA's solution for handling the demand for service as the aviation system advances by transforming the national air space system from ground-based radar to a satellite-based system. Although these SHT planes offer more capacity, more fuel-efficient engines, and other technological advances, the sheer size of the SHT planes stress the current United States aviation infrastructure. Since SHT planes demand more space to taxi and larger separation minimums to take off and land, as compared to the current narrow-body planes, they require surface operation adjustments at the airports they fly into. Since the adjustments vary between airports due to design and space limitations, a standardized approach to dealing with SHT planes does not exist.

Figure 2. San Francisco International Airport
Source: http://www.mccullagh.org/db9/1ds-3/san-francisco-airport-sfo.jpg

The purpose of this project is to utilize Java and Jena, a rule based inference engine, to model the relationships and interactions between airports and aircrafts. This model will focus on building out the system hierarchy and transcribing the document based rules and regulations in to a more interactive form using software. The final model will enable the user to create airport and aircraft objects as well as test their surface operation compatibility highlighting any problems that may arise.


Title: Object-Oriented Modeling in Railways
Author: Ruiqi Mu

Abstract: U.S. railroads play a major role in the nation's freight shipping. Back in 1975 they carried 750 billion ton-miles -- this doubled to 1.5 trillion ton-miles in 2005 [1-2]. In the 1950s, the U.S. and Europe moved roughly the same percentage of freight by rail; but, by 2000, the share of U.S. rail freight was 38% while in Europe only 8% of freight traveled by rail[3]. In 1997, while U.S. trains moved 2,165 billion ton-kilometers of freight, the 15-nation European Union moved only 238 billion ton-kilometers of freight. Big freight railway companies made big profits on developing railway transportation with annual operating revenues above $346.8 million dollars [3]. As rail-transportation, an efficient way in frieght transporatation, the simulation in railway cannot be neglected. Some railway simulation software began in the mid-1990s as research projects at some universities. So the aim of this project is to develop a user-friendly tool to answer questions about railway operations by simulation.

Figure 3. Modular Railway Track
Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002HZ8AS/ref=s9_simh_gw_p21_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=17J8D74C2EEB0BWQAYWW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846

For this project, I will use Java programming to make 2 railway track circles with a train running on track. A switch can control the turnout switching between rail track circle A and circle B. The train can run on either track circle but it needs the switch to turn the turnout in order to run on the other track circle. This graph of railway and train is based on Java 2D.


  1. U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Washington, D.C. (2000) Ton-Miles of Freight by Mode: 1975 -- 2025, The Changing Face of Transportation. Report No. BTS00-007.
  2. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Railroads to Mid-Century: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927, America on the Move.
  3. Increasing EU Rail Share: Insights From the US Rail Experience


Title: Modeling Cities with Higraphs
Author: Alan Nguyen and James Vaughn

Abstract: The population of the world is expected to grow to over 10 billion people by 2050. This is causing cities to become larger and more complex, and can be thought of as large system of systems. There is an increasing need to model the inter-system behavior of these cities since failures in one system can cause cascading failures, leading to higher consequences than originally expected. The unpredicted cascading failures occurs because each system was designed independently and analysis was never performed on how each system would affect one another.

The proposed solution is to model the city in terms of higraphs. Nodes can represent components of systems and nodes with similar characteristics can be grouped together into clusters. When the state of a node or cluster changes, that information is passed along to other systems in the city via arcs. This results in a state change in the new system. To implement the passing of information from one system to another, we will use a controller that interfaces with the system. The controller will take in data from one system and based on a set of rules, will make the necessary changes to the affected system.


Title: Tank Structure Modeling and Visualization
Author: Sijia Cao and Liang Qiao

Abstract: System modeling as a new perspective of management methods plays an increasingly important role. This project proposes a three-dimensional structure modeling and visualization method achieved by Java 3D, setting as the basis for tank design. The tank should have basic function including cannon, track, wave-proof plate and wheels. Euler-Poincare law will be applied. The nodes of the data structure can be organized into a vertical structure containing six layers: solid, face, loop, edge, half edge and vertex. When building the tank model, rectangle block and trapezoidal block act as tank's main body; cylinder act as the shooter and ring act as wheels. The main challenge of this project is the track, which will be discusses thoroughly in the project report.


Title: Creation of a Social Networking System
Author: Apurv Mittal

Abstract: The goal of this project will be to build a graph where:

  1. The vertices represent users of the system.

  2. The links are the edges connecting two users within the system.

The goal is for a X user to search for a Y user to ascertain if that user is within the system. If Y is within the system (a vertex), then X would like to get information on what is the smallest number of people outside his/her connectional network that can lead him/her to connect with Y. Thus, the basic challenges to be achieved in this project are:

  1. Dynamically create nodes.

  2. Dynamically create links.

  3. Show the existing graph.

  4. Search for a user external to your network and calculate the shortest path to user.

If the objectives are successfully achieved, then following further implementations will be considered:

  1. User will be asked to rank his friends on the basis of being close friends, acquaintances, and enemies. A weighting function will then be made and added to the links.

  2. Next will be that the geographic location of the users will added to the weighting function. The farther away the user from a person, the lesser will be the weight.


Title: Optimal Road Alignment for the I-70 Mountain Corridor
Author: Chris Binkley

Abstract: The I-70 mountain corridor is a 144 mile stretch of roadway in Colorado. This is the only east-west interstate to cross the Rocky Mountains in the state, extending from Glenwood Springs in the west, to Denver in the east. In order to mitigate the increasing commuter and freight congestion of the roadway, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began a rail feasibility study [1].

Figure 4. Existing roadway from Glenwood Springs to Denver

Project: The goal of the project is to determine an alignment that would be optimal for both passenger and freight volume, as well as access to towns and cities along the route. In addition, the project would examine the interface with the related transportation networks, including the existing and future highway system, as well as other transit connections. CDOT's current plan is to provide a 120-mile high-speed transit line running approximately in parallel to the I-70 Mountain Corridor from C-470 in Jefferson County to Eagle County Regional Airport [2].

Design Parameters [3]

Travel Time The combined road and rail system needs to support a peak volume of 4900 passengers per hour, in the peak direction (design year: 2035)
Grade Cost-effectively traverse the grades within the Rocky Mountains.
Alignment can operates in, out, or mixed with the I-70 right-of-way.
Safety Crossings (wildlife, grade-separated)
Access control
Emergency egress (from vehicles and from guideway (at grade, on structure, in tunnel)
System security
Weather/Wind Maintain operation in severe weather, including extreme alpine windstorms.
Light Freight Light freight must be accommodated in addition to passengers.


  1. http://www.coloradodot.info/library/studies/FINALI70MountainCorridorReport.pdf
  2. http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/AGSstudy
  3. http://www.hubdot.net/newscdot_seeking_input_from_private_technology_providers_for_i_70_mountain_corridor_high_speed_transit-911.html

Developed in March-May 2013 by Mark Austin
Copyright © 2013, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland