School of Mathematics

Chris Dent is PI of the overall DDI Beacon Data Platform programme being run through the Bayes Centre

Chris Dent is PI of the overall DDI Beacon Data Platform programme being run through the Bayes Centre. The School is involved with two of the individual projects:

  • Chris Dent is the PI for a collaboration between the University, Jacobs and the City of Edinburgh Council, which will support the city in planning mobility for the 2021 Festival season. This will involve both a scenario-based decision support framework for managing uncertainty in how the pandemic, the vaccine programme, government restrictions and public attitudes will interact; and simulation and optimization based planning of the mobility network. As per recent media articles, there is an intent to have in-person Festival activity this year, to the extent compatible with public health requirements. Even with reduced audiences, moving people around the city will present new challenges, including desire to use cycling and walking where possible, and much reduced pavement capacity for pedestrians. Jacobs will lead on detailed simulation of the flow of people, and the School of Maths will provide expertise on use of operational research methods to design linked public transport and walking networks. Both bring strong backgrounds in scenario-based decision support.
  • Gordon Ross is the PI for a project which will support the restart, recovery and adaptation of Edinburgh's tourism industry in response to the pandemic. This will be explored through data-driven decision support. An interface/visualisation will be developed that equips Edinburgh businesses with specific data-driven insights on upcoming visitor demand and profile. This information will be made freely available to tourism, culture and hospitality organisations to more confidently make strategic, operational and marketing decisions. It is anticipated that visitor forecasts will be targeted at short-term (for example, 1-week) and medium-term (for example, 3 months). Partners for this project are the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. The project will act as a pilot for collaboration with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Visit Scotland for the development of Scottish Tourism Data Hub outlined in the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce.