Rafal Kucharski Lab

Assistant Professor, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland


I research complex social systems: urban mobility. Congested, urban multimodal networks used by millions of agents to reach their destinations and leaving huge sets of mobility traces ready to be applied for modelling, optimization, understanding and control.

I now focus on ride-pooling, i.e. Uber-like systems where two or more travellers share a single vehicle. This is highly challenging combinatorial optimization problem, to which I contributed with the ExMAS algorithm. This, the first user-centric demand driven exact ride-poling algorithm, rooted a long and rewarding stream of contributions in e.g.: Game Theory, Virus Spreading, Network Science, Transit Network Desing Problem and growing.

Currently, as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) I am part of the Group of Machine Learning Research GMUM. I run the NCN Opus Grant on Shared Mobility in the pandemic times and run a team to research complex social systems of urban mobility within the DigiWorld scheme. We are now a team of two PhDs, two PostDocs and me.

Before, I worked (2019-2021) with Oded Cats at TU Delft in his ERC Starting Grant Critical MaaS. I model two-sided mobility platforms, specifcally focusing on ride-pooling (ExMAS) and agent-based simulator for Uber-like systems (MaaSSim). I did PhD at Cracow University of Technology with excellent goup of prof. Andrzej Szarata and working closely with Guido Gentile from La Sapienza on non-equilibrium dynamic traffic assignment. In the interdisciplinary field of urban mobility I did research which can be classified as:

  • model estimation, optimization, system control, network design;
  • agent-based simulation, game-theory, network science, stochastic simulation, epidemic modelling;
  • machine learning, spatial analysis, big data analysis, pattern recognition, unsupervised learning;
  • behavioural modelling, economic discrete choice models, policy, sustainability.

Outside of academia I was:

  • Data Scientist at NorthGravity developing AWS-based protfolio or real-time production ready ML solutions
  • R&D Developer at PTV SISTeMA implementing algorithms into PTV Optima real-time traffic forecasting models.
  • Transport Modeller at Department of Transportation Systems using travel-diaries to estimate demand models and create strategic planning tools, e.g. for Warsaw and Kraków

drawing                                    drawing

Teaching materials

I run the seminar on Complex Social Systems (transport is one of them) at Jagiellonian University - materials and papers are on my github


Sep 9, 2022 We launched collaboration on Network-Science with the group of prof. Rob Kooij to exploit how networks shape the ride-pooling problems. Today I gave a seminar for his group in Delft.
Aug 5, 2022 👏 1st Aug is a relief day for all transport-people, so it was for us, we can be happy with out TRB submissions, kudos to all👏:
  • 🧨 Farnoud Ghasemi made an intiguing ABM simulations of Uber rise and fall: https://arxiv.org/abs/2208.02496
  • 🧨 Usman Akhtar explored when and why the ride-pooling calculations explode: https://arxiv.org/abs/2208.02504
  • 🧨 Olha Shulika is closing up her Post-Pandemic Ride Pooling Review and
  • 🧨 Michal Bujak lately got accepted for Complex Networks conference with his probabilistic ride-pooling: https://arxiv.org/abs/2206.12259
That is not a bad outcome for the first 12 months of our group - let’s take some well-deserved rest: 🏝⛱🏝⛱🏝⛱🏝⛱
Jun 15, 2022 Our pre-print is out. Typically it is too early to announce, but this is super-exciting. We managed to push the limits of pooling to the edge: 14 co-travellers in an attractive hyper-pooled rides (turbo version of our ExMAS)
Jun 8, 2022 Our flagship software is out and published. Along with a documented repository, the MaaSSim community have now the deeper and more formal documentation in PLOS One - hope it can help the community grow.
Jun 6, 2022 I presented the Ride-Pooling problem at our flagship national conference Modelling 2022 at Cracow University of Technology. Good opportunity to introduce my team and research problems to exceptional practitioners involved in most challenging infrastructure projects in the country. slides
Jun 6, 2022 After 2+ years, finally in person meeting with the community @ heart conference in Leuven. Six contributions from our side (Arkadiusz Drabicki, Michal Bujak, Marko Maricic, Peyman Ashkrof, Arjan de Ruijter and Farnoud Ghasemi presented results of our joint work). Plus a great keynote by prof. Oded Cats, summarizing roughly all on which our lab is founded, including ExMAS and MaaSSim.

selected publications

  1. PLOS
    Simulating two-sided mobility platforms with MaaSSim
    Kucharski, Rafał, and Cats, Oded
    PLoS ONE 2022
  2. PLOS
    Beyond the dichotomy: How ride-hailing competes with and complements public transport
    Cats, Oded, Kucharski, Rafal, Danda, Santosh Rao, and Yap, Menno
    Plos one 2022
  3. CIiT
    Using city-bike stopovers to reveal spatial patterns of urban attractiveness
    Banet, Krystian, Naumov, Vitalii, and Kucharski, Rafał
    Current Issues in Tourism 2022
  4. SciRep
    Modelling virus spreading in ride-pooling networks
    Kucharski, Rafał, Cats, Oded, and Sienkiewicz, Julian
    Scientific Reports 2021
  5. TR:B
    Exact matching of attractive shared rides (ExMAS) for system-wide strategic evaluations
    Kucharski, Rafał, and Cats, Oded
    Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 2020
  6. TR:B
    Simulation of rerouting phenomena in Dynamic Traffic Assignment with the Information Comply Model
    Kucharski, Rafał, and Gentile, Guido
    Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 2019
  7. EJOR
    How to split the costs and charge the travellers sharing a ride? Aligning system’s optimum with users’ equilibrium
    Fielbaum, Andres, Kucharski, Rafał, Cats, Oded, and Alonso-Mora, Javier
    European Journal of Operational Research 2021