Samitha Samaranayake

Samitha Samaranayake

Associate Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hollister Hall, Room 317


Samitha Samaranayake completed his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2014, where he worked primarily on efficient algorithms for stochastic route planning and dynamic network flow allocation. Since graduating, he has been a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT and a member of the Future Urban Mobility group of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). His research focus at MIT has been on the analysis and control of networked cyber-physical systems with applications to Mobility-on-Demand.

Samitha received his bachelors degree in Computer Science (with a minor in Economics) and an M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science both from MIT, and an M.Sc. in Management Science and Engineering (Operations Research) from Stanford University. He has worked in the database backup and recovery group at Oracle Corporation, the design for test (DFT) group at Synopsys Inc., the transit algorithms team at Google and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA). He is a recipient of the Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Research Interests

Samitha's research interests are in the analysis and control of networked cyber-physical systems with a focus on transportation and other urban infrastructure systems. In particular, he's interested in enabling efficient and sustainable urban transportation systems, by utilizing advances in information technology (e.g. the proliferation of smart phones and real-time communication), mathematical modeling and optimization, and new transportation paradigms such as mobility-on-demand systems. His research develops and utilizes mathematical tools from the areas of dynamic programming, stochastic network optimization, multi-commodity flow optimization and network load balancing.

Research Group Members

Selected Publications

  • Niknami, M., Samitha Samaranayake. 2016. "Tractable Pathnding for the Stochastic On-Time Arrival Problem."SIAM Meeting on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments (ALENEX)-in review."
  • Spieser, K., S. Samaranayake, W. Gruel, E. Frazolli. 2016. "Shared-vehicle mobility-on-demand systems: a fleet operator's guide to rebalancing empty vehicles." Washington, DC, United States
  • Samaranayake, Samitha, J. Reilly, W. Krichene, M. L. Delle Monache, P. Goatin, A. Bayen. 2016. "Discrete-time system optimal dynamic traffic assignment (SO-DTA) with partial control for horizontal queuing networks-in review." Paper presented at 2015 American Control Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Reilly, J., Samitha Samaranayake, M. L. Delle Monache, W. Krichene, P. Goatin, A. Bayen. 2015. "Adjoint-based optimization on a network of discretized scalar conservation law PDEs with applications to coordinated ramp metering.." Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications 167 ((2)): 733-760.
  • Delle Monache, M. L., J. Reilly, Samitha Samaranayake, W. Krichene, P. Goatin, A. Bayen. 2014. "A PDE-ODE model for a junction with ramp buffer." SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics 70 (1): 22-39.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Dwight David Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship (U.S. Department of Transportation) 2012
  • ACSF Rapid Response Grant Award (David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future USD 20,688, with Timur Dogan from Art, Architecture and Planning) 2016


  • BS (Computer Science), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002
  • MEng (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003
  • MS (Management Science and Engineering), Stanford University, 2009
  • Ph D (Systems Engineering), University of California, Berkeley, 2014


Research Group Members

Graduate Students

  • Paloma Fernandez Ovelar
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Jiahui Huang
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Youngseo Kim
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Shiwei Liu
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Matthew Zalesak
    Operations Research and Information Engineering