Modeling and analyzing multiple station baggage screening security system performance

Sheldon H. Jacobson, Laura A. McLay, John E. Kobza, Jon M. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001, numerous changes have been made to aviation security policy and operations throughout the nation's airports. The allocation and utilization of checked baggage screening devices is a critical component in aviation security systems. This paper formulates problems that model multiple sets of flights originating from multiple stations (e.g., airports, terminals), where the objective is to optimize a baggage screening performance measure subject to a finite amount of resources. These measures include uncovered flight segments (UFS) and uncovered passenger segments (UPS). Three types of multiple station security problems are identified and their computational complexity is established. The problems are illustrated on two examples that use data extracted from the Official Airline Guide. The examples indicate that the problems can provide widely varying solutions based on the type of performance measure used and the restrictions imposed by the security device allocations. Moreover, the examples suggest that the allocations based on the UFS measure also provide reasonable solutions with respect to the UPS measure; however, the reverse may not be the case. This suggests that the UFS measure may provide more robust screening device allocations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-45
Number of pages16
JournalNaval Research Logistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Aviation security
  • Homeland security
  • Integer programming
  • Knapsack problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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