Sun Apr 21 22:32:43 2024
EVENTS
 FREE
SOFTWARE
INSTITUTE

POLITICS
JOBS
MEMBERS'
CORNER

MAILING
LIST

NYLXS Mailing Lists and Archives
NYLXS Members have a lot to say and share but we don't keep many secrets. Join the Hangout Mailing List and say your peice.

DATE 2023-11-01

HANGOUT

2024-04-21 | 2024-03-21 | 2024-02-21 | 2024-01-21 | 2023-12-21 | 2023-11-21 | 2023-10-21 | 2023-09-21 | 2023-08-21 | 2023-07-21 | 2023-06-21 | 2023-05-21 | 2023-04-21 | 2023-03-21 | 2023-02-21 | 2023-01-21 | 2022-12-21 | 2022-11-21 | 2022-10-21 | 2022-09-21 | 2022-08-21 | 2022-07-21 | 2022-06-21 | 2022-05-21 | 2022-04-21 | 2022-03-21 | 2022-02-21 | 2022-01-21 | 2021-12-21 | 2021-11-21 | 2021-10-21 | 2021-09-21 | 2021-08-21 | 2021-07-21 | 2021-06-21 | 2021-05-21 | 2021-04-21 | 2021-03-21 | 2021-02-21 | 2021-01-21 | 2020-12-21 | 2020-11-21 | 2020-10-21 | 2020-09-21 | 2020-08-21 | 2020-07-21 | 2020-06-21 | 2020-05-21 | 2020-04-21 | 2020-03-21 | 2020-02-21 | 2020-01-21 | 2019-12-21 | 2019-11-21 | 2019-10-21 | 2019-09-21 | 2019-08-21 | 2019-07-21 | 2019-06-21 | 2019-05-21 | 2019-04-21 | 2019-03-21 | 2019-02-21 | 2019-01-21 | 2018-12-21 | 2018-11-21 | 2018-10-21 | 2018-09-21 | 2018-08-21 | 2018-07-21 | 2018-06-21 | 2018-05-21 | 2018-04-21 | 2018-03-21 | 2018-02-21 | 2018-01-21 | 2017-12-21 | 2017-11-21 | 2017-10-21 | 2017-09-21 | 2017-08-21 | 2017-07-21 | 2017-06-21 | 2017-05-21 | 2017-04-21 | 2017-03-21 | 2017-02-21 | 2017-01-21 | 2016-12-21 | 2016-11-21 | 2016-10-21 | 2016-09-21 | 2016-08-21 | 2016-07-21 | 2016-06-21 | 2016-05-21 | 2016-04-21 | 2016-03-21 | 2016-02-21 | 2016-01-21 | 2015-12-21 | 2015-11-21 | 2015-10-21 | 2015-09-21 | 2015-08-21 | 2015-07-21 | 2015-06-21 | 2015-05-21 | 2015-04-21 | 2015-03-21 | 2015-02-21 | 2015-01-21 | 2014-12-21 | 2014-11-21 | 2014-10-21 | 2014-09-21 | 2014-08-21 | 2014-07-21 | 2014-06-21 | 2014-05-21 | 2014-04-21 | 2014-03-21 | 2014-02-21 | 2014-01-21 | 2013-12-21 | 2013-11-21 | 2013-10-21 | 2013-09-21 | 2013-08-21 | 2013-07-21 | 2013-06-21 | 2013-05-21 | 2013-04-21 | 2013-03-21 | 2013-02-21 | 2013-01-21 | 2012-12-21 | 2012-11-21 | 2012-10-21 | 2012-09-21 | 2012-08-21 | 2012-07-21 | 2012-06-21 | 2012-05-21 | 2012-04-21 | 2012-03-21 | 2012-02-21 | 2012-01-21 | 2011-12-21 | 2011-11-21 | 2011-10-21 | 2011-09-21 | 2011-08-21 | 2011-07-21 | 2011-06-21 | 2011-05-21 | 2011-04-21 | 2011-03-21 | 2011-02-21 | 2011-01-21 | 2010-12-21 | 2010-11-21 | 2010-10-21 | 2010-09-21 | 2010-08-21 | 2010-07-21 | 2010-06-21 | 2010-05-21 | 2010-04-21 | 2010-03-21 | 2010-02-21 | 2010-01-21 | 2009-12-21 | 2009-11-21 | 2009-10-21 | 2009-09-21 | 2009-08-21 | 2009-07-21 | 2009-06-21 | 2009-05-21 | 2009-04-21 | 2009-03-21 | 2009-02-21 | 2009-01-21 | 2008-12-21 | 2008-11-21 | 2008-10-21 | 2008-09-21 | 2008-08-21 | 2008-07-21 | 2008-06-21 | 2008-05-21 | 2008-04-21 | 2008-03-21 | 2008-02-21 | 2008-01-21 | 2007-12-21 | 2007-11-21 | 2007-10-21 | 2007-09-21 | 2007-08-21 | 2007-07-21 | 2007-06-21 | 2007-05-21 | 2007-04-21 | 2007-03-21 | 2007-02-21 | 2007-01-21 | 2006-12-21 | 2006-11-21 | 2006-10-21 | 2006-09-21 | 2006-08-21 | 2006-07-21 | 2006-06-21 | 2006-05-21 | 2006-04-21 | 2006-03-21 | 2006-02-21 | 2006-01-21 | 2005-12-21 | 2005-11-21 | 2005-10-21 | 2005-09-21 | 2005-08-21 | 2005-07-21 | 2005-06-21 | 2005-05-21 | 2005-04-21 | 2005-03-21 | 2005-02-21 | 2005-01-21 | 2004-12-21 | 2004-11-21 | 2004-10-21 | 2004-09-21 | 2004-08-21 | 2004-07-21 | 2004-06-21 | 2004-05-21 | 2004-04-21 | 2004-03-21 | 2004-02-21 | 2004-01-21 | 2003-12-21 | 2003-11-21 | 2003-10-21 | 2003-09-21 | 2003-08-21 | 2003-07-21 | 2003-06-21 | 2003-05-21 | 2003-04-21 | 2003-03-21 | 2003-02-21 | 2003-01-21 | 2002-12-21 | 2002-11-21 | 2002-10-21 | 2002-09-21 | 2002-08-21 | 2002-07-21 | 2002-06-21 | 2002-05-21 | 2002-04-21 | 2002-03-21 | 2002-02-21 | 2002-01-21 | 2001-12-21 | 2001-11-21 | 2001-10-21 | 2001-09-21 | 2001-08-21 | 2001-07-21 | 2001-06-21 | 2001-05-21 | 2001-04-21 | 2001-03-21 | 2001-02-21 | 2001-01-21 | 2000-12-21 | 2000-11-21 | 2000-10-21 | 2000-09-21 | 2000-08-21 | 2000-07-21 | 2000-06-21 | 2000-05-21 | 2000-04-21 | 2000-03-21 | 2000-02-21 | 2000-01-21 | 1999-12-21

Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2023-11-12
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Still working on the airplane and elevator
wsj.com
The Astrophysicist Who Has a Better Way to Board Airplanes
Ben Cohen
8–10 minutes

Jason Steffen has spent his career trying to crack the deepest
mysteries of the universe. He’s an astrophysicist who studies
exoplanets orbiting distant stars, dark matter and gravitation. In his
spare time, he also tackles another impenetrable riddle of the galaxy.

What is the best way to board airplanes?

He’s not the only person trying to answer the question. The most
effective way for people to fill a metal tube is a problem that
airlines have been trying to solve for decades.

For companies that squeeze every drop of profit from their operations,
shaving two minutes of boarding time per flight can save countless
millions of dollars a year, so of course they’re obsessed with
smoothing out this form of turbulence. Every march down the aisle of a
plane is a parade of inefficiency. But the only thing as difficult for
airlines as making planes efficient at 35,000 feet is doing it while
they’re on the ground. They’re constantly looking for a less awful way,
which is why United Airlines is tweaking its boarding process—again.

United recently implemented a system called “Wilma,” a rough acronym
for its new boarding chronology: window, middle, aisle. Except it’s not
new. In fact, the airline boarded coach passengers this way until 2017.
The “L” doesn’t stand for anything, either. But the really odd part
about this supposedly better, faster way of boarding a plane is that it
could be even faster and better.

Just ask Steffen, an associate professor of physics at the University
of Nevada, Las Vegas, who developed what he says is the optimal
boarding strategy and published his findings 15 years ago.

Steffen started thinking about the boarding process only because he
couldn’t stop thinking about how annoying it was. You don’t have to be
an astrophysicist to understand his frustration, which began with one
unpleasant trip to the airport in Seattle. “I had to wait in line in
traffic. And then I had to wait in line at security. And then I had to
wait in line to check my ticket at the gate. And then I had to wait in
line at the jet bridge,” said the 48-year-old scientist. “I thought
that last line was probably unnecessary.”

That thought nagged at him for a few years before he decided that he
should forget about it or do something about it.

“One of the reasons I allowed myself to be entertained by the idea was
that it seemed like a tractable problem,” he said. “There should be a
solution to this—no matter how weird it might be.”

As it turned out, there was a solution, and it was definitely weird.

He suspected the worst way to board a plane was front to back, but he
was surprised to discover the next-worst way was back to front. That
had been the standard for decades, but it was quicker to just board
randomly. This counterintuitive finding made him even more curious
about the best way, so he applied the computing methods he uses for his
astrophysics work and coded an optimization algorithm.

That led him to the Steffen method.

Here’s how it works. The first person to board a single-aisle jet like
a Boeing 737 is the passenger in the window seat of the last row. Say
that’s 30A. The next person would be exactly two rows away in 28A,
followed by 26A, 24A and 22A until the window seats in even rows on the
right side were full. Next are the window seats in even rows on the
left side: 30F, 28F, 26F and so on. Then come window seats in odd rows
on the right and left starting from the back. The same patterns apply
to middle seats and aisle seats until the last person on board plops
into the front row. That’s just one permutation. There are others that
would achieve identical results, he says.

The idea behind spacing out passengers in alternating rows is to reduce
the probability of traffic jams. If the primary bottleneck of the
boarding process is people waiting in the aisle, mostly because of how
long it takes for others to load their luggage, Steffen’s fix maximizes
the number of passengers stuffing their bags into overhead bins
simultaneously. It takes a serial process (one at a time) and makes it
parallel (several at a time).

Once his study was published in 2008, he tested the results for a 2011
paper. His laboratory was a Los Angeles soundstage. His subjects were
volunteers and Hollywood extras. They boarded a mock Boeing 757 using
five techniques—and the Steffen method was easily the fastest.

If only getting a line of people to sit down were that simple.

Steffen’s boarding system may be the most effective, but it’s not the
most practical.

It doesn’t account for multiple travelers, families sitting together or
what he calls “other effects of human nature.” Airlines don’t have the
luxury of ignoring human nature. They are stuck with “a logistical
puzzle as well as a psychological test as they try to balance speed,
fairness and revenue,” as my colleague Alison Sider recently put it.
There are too many confounding variables that mess with his
algorithm—like frequent fliers who expect priority boarding, regardless
of where they’re sitting. So there is a better chance of the Wi-Fi
holding up for an entire flight than the Steffen method being adopted.

But just because they don’t board in the most efficient way doesn’t
mean they can’t be more efficient.

Steffen’s academic theories might be too idealistic to overcome the
realities of the business. It’s still worth exploring why they work—and
how the perfectly optimal strategy can improve methods that adjust for
our imperfections.

Steffen himself devised a more pragmatic version with families in mind:
even rows on the left and right, odd rows on the left and odd rows on
the right. It still beats most boarding strategies, he says. As it
happens, so does Wilma, since it spreads out passengers and lets more
of them stow their luggage at once. The outside-in system ranked highly
in his testing—slower than the Steffen method but faster than
procedures not named for astrophysicists.

United disagrees. Before deciding to bring Wilma back, the airline
conducted its own experiments with paying customers on real flights,
not Hollywood extras. A spokesman said the company tried several
boarding strategies, including Steffen’s, and Wilma was the fastest.

But the purest form of Wilma was too radical for United, which is using
a modified version of window-middle-aisle. It’s similar, though
slightly and noticeably different, like Wilma Flintstone going blonde.
The airline is still preboarding groups (families with young children,
active-duty military members, passengers who require assistance, top
Premier members), and then boarding Group 1 (first class and elite
fliers) and Group 2 (lower-status tiers). The plane might be half-full
by the time the gate agent calls Group 3 for windows, Group 4 for
middles and Group 5 for aisles.

It may be an improvement, but Steffen says Wilma is still inferior to
Southwest’s system, in which passengers line up by alphabetical
boarding groups and numerical positions before choosing their own
seats. (Southwest now employs a swarm theorist to model boarding
scenarios.)

But the Steffen method, Wilma and Southwest’s approach have something
in common: They show how there is usually a better way of doing
something than the way it has always been done.

Why are we doing it this way? Could we be doing it another way? Should
we? Those are the questions that drive progress in any business.

I had another question for Steffen: What would he do if I waved a magic
wand and gave him the power to make all airlines board the same way?
His answer surprised me. He said he would try to figure out why they
have not adopted his strategy.

“I’ve never run an airline company, so it would be a bit presumptive
for me to mandate that you should do this,” he said. “The main thing
that I would do is see what I’m missing. I’m not really an insider, and
it’s easy for me to armchair-quarterback what they should be doing when
there’s probably a lot more stuff going on that I don’t know about. I
would ask for more information. The boarding process is easy to
understand, but how it translates into the rest of the system is
interesting and ultimately the most important question.”

He sounded like someone who spends most of his time looking at the
stars: He wanted to know everything he didn’t know.

“I think it’s a lot more complicated than people realize to run a
multibillion-dollar airline,” the astrophysicist said.

Write to Ben Cohen at ben.cohen-at-wsj.com

Copyright ©2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
--
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
http://www.mrbrklyn.com

DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive
http://www.coinhangout.com - coins!
http://www.brooklyn-living.com

Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013

_______________________________________________
Hangout mailing list
Hangout-at-nylxs.com
http://lists.mrbrklyn.com/mailman/listinfo/hangout

  1. 2023-11-02 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The death of Israel
  2. 2023-11-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Dopes
  3. 2023-11-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] global war on the Jews .... again.
  4. 2023-11-01 From: "Free Software Foundation" <info-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Free Software Supporter -- Issue 187,
  5. 2023-11-02 Aharon Robbins <arnold-at-skeeve.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Gawk 5.3.0 released
  6. 2023-11-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] the origins of Islamic hatred
  7. 2023-11-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Hamas Weapons Cache.
  8. 2023-11-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Haley
  9. 2023-11-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] 40% is less than 50%
  10. 2023-11-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] [ Docs ] global war on the Jews .... again.
  11. 2023-11-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Fwd: RESISTANCE | A Note from Our Executive
  12. 2023-11-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Worth a read...
  13. 2023-11-10 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Ethics and reporters
  14. 2023-11-10 From: "Free Software Foundation" <info-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] GNU Press shop back online for the holiday season
  15. 2023-11-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] revolution
  16. 2023-11-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Still working on the airplane and elevator
  17. 2023-11-13 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #642 - Perl and PAUSE
  18. 2023-11-13 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #642 - Perl and PAUSE
  19. 2023-11-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Islam being misrepresented on PBS - right now
  20. 2023-11-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Islam being misrepresented on PBS - right now
  21. 2023-11-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Nikki Haley... op ed today
  22. 2023-11-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] State Department funds itself with Jewish blood.
  23. 2023-11-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Iran in the State Department....
  24. 2023-11-13 embperl-at-actevy.io Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Embperl 3.0.0-rc.1 is released
  25. 2023-11-13 Johns Hopkins Engineering <jhep-at-jhu.edu> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Meet the Recruiter -at- Engineering for
  26. 2023-11-14 Johns Hopkins Engineering <jhep-at-jhu.edu> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] =?utf-8?q?Today_=40_6_P=2EM=2E_ET=2E_Details_t?=
  27. 2023-11-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Gaza and the UN
  28. 2023-11-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Gaza and the UN
  29. 2023-11-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Gaza and the UN
  30. 2023-11-15 From: "Free Software Foundation" <info-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Now's your chance to submit your session and
  31. 2023-11-16 From: "Anouk Rozestraten, FSF" <sales-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Show your support for free software through the
  32. 2023-11-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Censoring truth ....
  33. 2023-11-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Crushing Jewish rights at John Hopkins...
  34. 2023-11-18 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Removing the bigots and being accountable
  35. 2023-11-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The LA Times wants Jews to die
  36. 2023-11-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] The LA Times wants Jews to die
  37. 2023-11-20 From: "The Jewish Museum" <reply-at-emails.thejewishmuseum.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Hanukkah Family Day at the Jewish Museum is on
  38. 2023-11-20 From: "O'Reilly" <reply-at-et.oreilly.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Your Cyber Sale savings are here.
  39. 2023-11-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] LA Times supports Hamas Genocide
  40. 2023-11-21 From: "Schanzenbach, Martin" <schanzen-at-gnunet.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] RFC 9498: The GNU Name System
  41. 2023-11-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Burnout in Congress
  42. 2023-11-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] no confusion
  43. 2023-11-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Why won't the Jews just die?
  44. 2023-11-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Generally Speaking
  45. 2023-11-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Scott Ritter - Weapons Inspector extrodenaire
  46. 2023-11-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Blood Money
  47. 2023-11-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Blood Money
  48. 2023-11-27 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #644 - Perl Sponsor?
  49. 2023-11-28 Johns Hopkins Engineering <jhep-at-jhu.edu> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Meet the Recruiter -at- Engineering for
  50. 2023-11-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  51. 2023-11-28 From: "Lee Horowitz" <leeh-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  52. 2023-11-28 James E Keenan <jkeenan-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  53. 2023-11-28 James E Keenan <jkeenan-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  54. 2023-11-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  55. 2023-11-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  56. 2023-11-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  57. 2023-11-27 Walt Mankowski <waltman-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  58. 2023-11-27 Walt Mankowski <waltman-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  59. 2023-11-27 Matthew Simon Ryan Cavalletto <simonm-at-mac.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  60. 2023-11-26 Walt Mankowski <waltman-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  61. 2023-11-26 Walt Mankowski <waltman-at-pobox.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  62. 2023-11-26 Walt Mankowski <waltman-at-pobox.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] New job at Columbia
  63. 2023-11-28 From: "Greg Farough, DbD" <info-at-defectivebydesign.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Worldwide community of activists protest
  64. 2023-11-28 From: "Greg Farough, DbD" <info-at-defectivebydesign.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Worldwide community of activists protest
  65. 2023-11-28 embperl-at-actevy.io Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Embperl 3.0.0 is released

NYLXS are Do'ers and the first step of Doing is Joining! Join NYLXS and make a difference in your community today!