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Ok, I'm sure this one must be baked, but I thought I would throw out this idea and see what people think.
You know those tall buildings with LOTS of elevators in them? And, for some reason, you have to wait a LONG time for one of them to pick you up - no matter *what* floor you're on? Well, here's
Whenever anybody presses the call button, on *any* floor, the elevator computer records what floor the call button is on, and what time it was pressed (even if it was the ground floor) Also, the elevator records how many people enter and leave, and on which floors. Eventually, it begins to build a statistical database of what floors are the most heavily trafficked and at what times. Therfore, when there's a free elevator, it will go to the floor that statistically will need it the most.
You could also track where people go (IE: There's a lot of people that like to travel between, say, floors 3 and 6) and then, unless there's a more pressing need, designate one elevator for those floors.
I think the self-learning/self-organizing method is severly underused and underappreciated, and I think this could be applied to a lot of other fields.
Elevators that know *not* to stop when full. Not the same as this idea. [phoenix, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]
(?) Fuji Lift
Mentions self-learning elevators in a similar context. [phoenix, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
Infromation about the Minnesota Life building in St. Paul, Minnesota
'"Smart" elevators know where riders are going before they enter the cars. In the lobby, a rider punches in a floor number on a keypad and the Miconic 10 system indicates which car will get the rider there faster.' [phoenix, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
Edupage newsletter for 10th July 1994
' Microprocessors and artificial intelligence software developed by the Air Force are adding zip and brains to a new generation of elevators. These new lifts are designed to arrive within 30 seconds of being summoned, and -- by gauging how crowded an elevator is by weight -- they will return more frequently to that level to accommodate crowds.' [phoenix, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
(?) Otis Elevator's Elevonic® Class
'Today, the most efficient dispatcher in the industry is the Elevonic's RSR Plus® system that, with its algorithm of bonuses and penalties, consistently delivers the shortest waiting times with the minimum number of elevators.' [phoenix, May 08 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]
||Nope. The "Intelligent Elevators" idea is completely different. That person is talking about weight limits. I'm talking about statistical patterns.
||Save for the self-learning capability, I believe this is how elevators in large busy buildings are operated now.
||If you want to learn about elevator efficiency, get an old copy of the game SimTower. You might think it's like a vertical SimCity, but it's really about elevators.
||where did double-helix elevators go?