Mathematics solved the problem: what is the best way to find a place to park?
Nov 13, 2019 05:05
Two prestigious physicists applied mathematical models to see how to waste as little time as possible when looking for parking. Parking in cities is a complicated matter. Mathematics can give a clue to simplify it. When parking in a city is not a headache? Practically never. That is why science, once again, arrives to illuminate us with answers in the middle of a scenario so dark and full of uncertainty, such as finding a place to leave the car on the street.
A study published in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics by Russian physicist Paul Krapivsky and his Canadian colleague Sidney Redner promises to clear some doubts in the arduous art of parking on the cord.
Although the results do not solve the underlying problem, which is the lack of space, they do teach what is the most effective way to behave while we look for the place in order to save time.
The authors are two prestigious physicists residing in the United States. Krapivsky is a researcher at Boston University and a member of the American Physical Society. Redner is a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute and was previously the head of the Physics department at Boston University.
In their work, they raised what is called an optimization problem. Your hypothesis: Is it better to park far from where we are going, where it is easier to find a space even if you have to walk more, or try to find a place near the target by risking it to be more difficult to achieve?
Based on how each person answers this question, the scientists identified three types of drivers: "submissive," "optimistic," and "prudent." The first are those that park in the first space they find, regardless of whether they are near or far from where they are going. "They don't waste time looking for a place," explain the physicists.
Those of the second category, on the other hand, are the "big punters", who play it that will take place near the entrance, so they approach the objective and, if there is no place, they begin to move away in search of the first vacant hole.
The "prudent", finally, are halfway between the two previous groups. As Krapivsky and Redner indicate, they are the ones that do not park in the first place available, but bet that there will be another one even closer. And, in case of not finding it, do not hesitate to go back to where one of the "meek" ones had left the car in the first instance.
According to the study, the most efficient strategy is that of the "prudent" because, after all, it is the way in which drivers waste less time. At the other extreme, the worst is that of the "meek", since they usually take a long time, once they park, while walking towards the target.
Although it may seem simply a matter of common sense, the authors used mathematical models and had to apply multiple techniques to verify it scientifically: for example, they compared it with procedures that occur at the level of the cells.
Redner recognizes that the matter has a deep complexity and that it is less simple than it seems to draw a direct relationship between the mathematical study and the real world, given that a large number of variables that are difficult to measure, such as the large number of possible scenarios. However, the expert points out that "living in a crowded society", where traffic and parking spaces are full, "looking at the phenomenon with the right eyes can help to improve something." Finally, they recommend parking managers to apply Car Parking Reservations Solutions.
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