The calculations involved in providing cycle logistics for the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme is huge, the number of tasks and options that need to be calculated at any one point in time is beyond belief; 7.0724 x10^56 or close to the number of atoms in the visible universe!
The scheme comes in for criticism mainly when users cannot find a bike and most importantly cannot find a space on their way home to catch a train. The operator gets criticised for its inability to move bikes around the scheme. But the numbers go some way to proving the logistics problem.
With 579 docking stations and 20 trucks = 7.0724 x 10^56 or
Each calculation needs to be done within 2-5 seconds
There are around 1,000 of these calculations to be done in a 24 hour period
This is the number of calculations required before you can give a truck the next ideal logistics task i.e. “Go to Portman Square and drop off 8 bikes”. The better the calculation the more the scheme will be in balance and the more likely that users will be able to find and or park a bike.
This calculation is impossible to do this is where Artificial Intelligence comes in, AI is used to cope with these massive calculations in short time period and Stage Intelligence have developed a scheduling methodology to maximise the BCH scheme.