ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Caroline C Krejci


Standard of living for health and well-being of oneself and of one’s family is a human right. Vulnerable populations are incapable of maintaining an adequate standard of living due to several reasons, such as financial constraints, racial profiling, health conditions, aging, and the combination of these reasons. To alleviate their vulnerability, the most basic needs of the vulnerable populations must be met. Transportation is the essential link to the resources to address the basic needs of the vulnerable populations. Transportation solutions tailored for vulnerable populations to meet their basic needs have multiple dimensions that require the involvement of all government levels from federal to city, health institutions, non-profits, transportation providers, individual citizens, and many more. This dissertation focuses on addressing the basic needs of older adults by improving their current transportation options and introducing a volunteer driver program. The impact of a volunteer driver program and the improvements of current transportation options on older adults’ satisfaction levels is modeled and studied with agent-based modeling for Dallas, Texas. The results of this model suggested that community-dwelling older adults living in Dallas, Texas would benefit from a community-tailored volunteer driver program and that they are happier and more satisfied when riding with volunteer drivers in Dallas, Texas, compared to other transportation options, such as rideshare and bus service. The main contribution of this dissertation is a systematic framework to empirically develop realistic agents and estimate agent parameters for agent-based modeling. This systematic framework sequences the Personas Concept, House of Quality, and PAPRIKA method via 1000minds software, respectively. This framework helps decision makers focus on the beneficiaries of the volunteer-driven programs and incorporate the decision makers’ expertise in parameter estimation of the agents. While the systematic framework is demonstrated with older adults in this dissertation, any research requiring empirically-driven realistic agents and parameters for studying other vulnerable populations in the agent-based modeling can utilize this framework. This is achieved thanks to the context independent structure of this framework.


Older adults, Transportation, Mobility, Volunteer drivers, Decision support, Decision making, Agent-based modeling, Realistic agents, Empirical agents, Empirical agent characterization, Empirical agent parameterization, Personas, House of quality, 1000minds, Paprika method, Multicriteria decision making


Engineering | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington