Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


Transportation networks play a critical role in human mobility and the exchange of goods, but they are also the primary vehicles for the worldwide spread of infections, and account for a significant fraction of CO2 emissions. We investigate the edge removal dynamics of two mature but fast-changing transportation networks: the Brazilian domestic bus transportation network and the U.S. domestic air transportation network. We use machine learning approaches to predict edge removal on a monthly time scale and find that models trained on data for a given month predict edge removals for the same month with high accuracy. For the air transportation network, we also find that models trained for a given month are still accurate for other months even in the presence of external shocks. We take advantage of this approach to forecast the impact of a hypothetical dramatic reduction in the scale of the U.S. air transportation network as a result of policies to reduce CO2 emissions. Our forecasting approach could be helpful in building scenarios for planning future infrastructure.