Programming for Transport Systems

Instructor information

Module leader: Prof. Chiara Colombaroni

Course information

ECTS: 6 credits Status: Elective Semester: 1 Hours: 60 Link: course page Link to online class:


The aim of the course is to enable students to learn the basics of programming aimed at processing and analyzing data for applications related to the field of transport engineering. The programming course will be oriented to learn and apply the Matlab language. After acquiring the basic elements related to the formalization of engineering problems aimed at their resolution through calculation procedures, the course will be developed by addressing a series of application examples characterized by a gradually increasing complexity in the field of transport engineering.

Syllabus outline

    Matlab programming fundamentals: logical operators, data import from various sources, data storage in vectors and matrices, data representation and visualization, development of algorithms with programming structures, development of codes for data analysis, creation of graphs for reports, main types of functions and their use. Basic statistical analysis. Analysis of regular and irregular periodic processes. Spectral analysis of an irregular periodic signal. Analysis of time series: average and extreme values. Polar representations. Correlations between data and interpolation functions. Analysis, development and application of a discrete event simulator for the optimization of a marine container terminal:
  • functional description of a marine container terminal;
  • analysis of the arrival, loading/unloading and departure of ships;
  • definition of: the average annual capacity of a terminal; the quays occupation; the ship waiting times;
  • optimization criteria of a terminal;
  • stochastic factors influencing the process: arrival times of the ships; marine weather factors, other factors;
  • quasi deterministic factors influencing the process;
  • design and implementation by Matlab of a discrete event simulator for the workability analysis of a container terminal;
  • project of the simulations;
  • application of the simulator;
  • analysis and discussion of results.

Essential reading list

  • Lecture notes provided by the instructor