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Elevator overlap scheduling for improved human communication

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019131D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Aug-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Aug-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method for scheduling elevators such that passengers are overlapped for increased communication opportunity.

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Elevator overlap scheduling for improved human communication

Scheduling of elevators usually is based on two goals. These goals are increasing the number of people carried in a given amount of time and decreasing wait time for individuals. The underlying assumption with these design goals is that elevators are only transportation devices.

Elevators are the new townhalls of business. They allow the cross-pollination of ideas in a open environment. It is common to see people waiting for an elevator strike up a business conversation with someone they would otherwise not have had interaction with, and then when the elevator arrives both parties skip the elevator to continue their conversation. It is also common to see important business conversations cut short from a prompt elevator arrival. These are conversations that otherwise would have not taken place because they cross organizational boundaries or hierarchal boundaries.

The core idea of this paper is to have the elevator scheduled in such a way as to overlap single riders so they have a chance to interact. This requires no additional hardware to detect passengers, just additional scheduling logic.

The algorithm presented guarantees forward progress (nobody rides the elevator forever) and is only slightly slower than a normal transportation based algorithm. At the same time it greatly increases the chances of at least one interaction. It thus promotes nontraditional lines of business communication. The algorithm itself is simple. Those familiar with the field of disk scheduling will realize that this algorithm has applications in that field that are outside the scope of this paper to describe.

Departure floor refers to a floor where somebody is waiting for an elevator. Destination floor refers to the floor where somebody gets off the elevator. Exchange floor are floors are floors that are both destination floors and departure floors. An empty elevator is described as having no destination floors. A occupied elevator is described as having one or more destination floors.

If an elevator is empty it should stop at the nearest departure floor when one becomes available. It is possible it is on the current departure floor.

All destination floors are...