Welcome to the Laboratory of Professor Kiyoshi Kobayashi!



Policy and management for the advanced knowledge society


Today, creative spillovers among cities are arising from a diverse range of activities as a result of intensive knowledge and information flows using advanced networks. This process, characterizing “ the knowledge society ”, is accompanied by rapid societal and economical changes that are increasing the uncertainty associated with future events. In this context, policy makers are requiring faster and more flexible tools for decision-making.

This laboratory is concerned with the improvement of social and economic systems. Optimal investments schemes, infrastructure improvement and maintenance strategies, social change uncertainty and project/disaster risk management and communication and human behavior issues are analyzed from the point of view of mainstream economics and mathematical engineering. Many solution tools, methodologies and policies are proposed.

Infrastructure in the knowledge society and development of creative cities

The integration of globally dispersed economic activities is transforming the structure of countries and regions worldwide. This integration along with the emerging of global networks of cities is a new phenomenon not seen before in the history of mankind. In order to understand the importance of infrastructure improvements in a world of intense competition between regions and cities, it is necessary to broadly extend the past views and deeply redefine and reconsider the role and function of infrastructure. Conscious of this situation, an analysis of the mechanisms for developing creative cities and an examinat ion of the new problems confronting infrastructure in the coming knowledge society are made. What kind of infrastructure is necessary for the new knowledge society? What kind of city and regional planning policies are preferable for developing creativity in cities and regions? These questions are addressed using economic growth models, urban models and game theory.

Asset management in civil engineering systems

Asset management strategy deals with the problem of maximizing the present value of infrastructure investments. It considers not only the benefits and immediate costs but also the useful life of facilities and its deterioration, the life cycle costs related with maintenance and repairing activities and the uncertainties associated with all this processes. The main problem in infrastructure management is defining the scale and time of the investments under conditions of uncertainty. This problem is dealt with financial options and other related techniques. Based on financial engineering applications, life cycle cost analysis is used to economically evaluate different maintenance strategies while taking into account various kinds of risks, deterioration processes, demand levels and disasters issues. In addition, in order to consider the variations of the econo mic and social environment, real option theory is applied to ascertain appropriate timing and sequence of infrastructure projects implementation. In the same way, different problems that have been traditionally handled independently such as project evaluation, performance-based design, project finance, project / disaster insurance and cat bonds are systematically integrated in a comprehensive asset management technology that encompasses the civil engineering systems as a whole.

Optimization of infrastructure projects based on contractual theory

Infrastructure projects normally last for many years. During such a long period, many problems derived from unforeseen geological and natural conditions, differences between design and implementation, changing of regulatory rules, and many others contingencies can occur. Since it is practically impossible to explicitly incorporate all the unexpected future events into a contractual document, the parties involved have no other choice but to engage in incomplete contracts. In incomplete contracts, when an event occur during the period of the project the contract can be redefined using established rules. However at the moment of the renegotiation, differences in bargaining power can induce one party to behave opportunistically to exploit any surplus produced by the counterpart (hold up problem). Additionally, negotiations in which the counter party lack the capacity of verific ation, weaken the contractor' s performance incentives (moral hazard) adding up considerable cost and time to the renegotiation process. This inefficiency is originated from information asymmetries that occur when one party has better information than the other one.Using game theory, the decision-making mechanism of employers and contractors under conditions of asymmetric information in incomplete contract is mathematically modeled, in order to analyze and develop efficiency in contractual forms.

Communication and traffic behavior in the knowledge society

New transportation and communication technologies are developing. The diffusion of these technologies is rapidly increasing the flexibility of human communication behavior. The innovation of communications technologies is not only making more efficient and faster transmissions of information and knowledge but also it is expanding the possibilities to connect various types of geographically dispersed activities.In most of traffic behavior, the decision to mobilize of one individual is not completely independent of that taken by someone else. That is, the traffic behavior of any individual is more or less subjected to the other's traffic behavior. Especially, in face-to-face communications, meeting with other individuals can only be possible as a result of an established mutual agreement.In this research, meeting, as an important element of communication behavior and consequently of the knowledge society is studied. A methodology for modeling meeting activities is proposed taking into account the strategic complementarities derived from meeting parties' actions. Examination of traffic improvement and transportation policies for supporting meeting activities is also accomplished.


What's New

  • Article of the interview with Prof Kobayashi has been featured in the journal 'Research Activities' published by Kyoto University Research Admission Office (URA). Click here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:43

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