You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

Social distancing in flight seat assignments can reduce Covid-19 spread

A new research conducted to minimise the risk of secondary infections aboard has used two models to help solve the airplane seating assignment problem

Topics
Coronavirus

ANI 

Boeing 777, Airlines, aviation, flights
Photo: Shutterstock

A new research conducted to minimise the risk of secondary infections aboard has used two models to help solve the airplane seating assignment problem because COVID-19 has been shown to spread on airplanes by infected passengers.

The models can lower the transmission risk of COVID-19 more so than the strategy of blocking the middle seats, given the same number of passengers. The results of the study were published in the INFORMS journal Service Science.

"Blocking the middle seat on an airplane may provide limited benefit in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Rather, other health protocols are better supported at preventing the transmission of the virus," said Sheldon Jacobson, Founder Professor of computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The study, "Airplane Seating Assignment Problem," was conducted by Jacobson, John Pavlik and Ian Ludden, all from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, alongside Edward Sewell from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The researchers introduced two variations of a seating assignment model to optimide how each plane should seat passengers depending on the plane's size and how seats are distributed on the aircraft.

The two models are called vertex packing risk minimization (VPR) and risk-constrained vertex packing (RCV). To determine which to use to solve ASAP, you match the specific airplane being filled using the best-known disease transmission risks, then solve the instance to generate an optimal seating solution.

"Every seat on the airplane corresponds to a single vertex in the graph. Edges between vertices represent the risk of transmitting disease between each pair of seats. If either seat in a pair is empty, then there is no risk of transmitting disease, and hence VPR and RCV are closely related to the vertex packing problem," continued Jacobson.

"Given an undirected graph modeling an airplane seating assignment problem instance with appropriate risks on the edges, the solution to VPR is an optimal configuration of seats to minimize the risk of transmission for a fixed number of passengers on the airplane. Similarly, the solution to RCV is the maximum number of passengers and corresponding seat configuration given a maximum acceptable total risk of transmission.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, March 28 2021. 17:22 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU