About my blog

Hans van Lint is AvL (Antonie van Leeuwenhoek) Professor Traffic Simulation and Computing at the Transport & Planning department, faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. He's also director of education of the Msc TIL (Transport, Logistics and Infrastructure).

His other passion in life is music - check out the Dutch Genesis tribute band Squonk.

Links to Hans' profiles on Facebook and on LinkedIn!


De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Weblog for Hans van Lint

Traffic jams are caused by (other) people …


After 4 years work as programmer at IT Works, project engineer at DHV and coordinator of the regional traffic information centre in Rotterdam, I started my PhD research in the fall of 2000. Lucky for me, my promotor Henk van Zuylen managed to acquire funds to have me work full-time on my dissertation from March 2001 onwards. That was necessary, because I do not recall producing anything useful in that first half year. But once working as a full-time PhD things started moving fast in the right direction. I dove into freeway travel time prediction using dynamic neural networks and finished my PhD in June 2004. My academic career as assistant professor at TU Delft started directly after receiving my doctorate. Besides data driven approaches to traffic estimation and prediction, I developed a love for physical modelling of traffic flows, and still to date, these two fields (AI/data assimilation and traffic flow modelling and simulation), form the cornerstone of my research. I was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and was awarded an Anthony van Leeuwenhoek full professorship by the TU Delft Executive board in 2013.

Up to now I authored close to 50 articles in peer reviewed international journals; supervised 14 PhD students of which 8 have graduated (7 co-promoted by me); and (co)wrote successful grants worth over 5ME sponsored by NSF, EU, national government and Industry, amongst which an STW/Veni personal research grant in 2007. Most of these research efforts indeed lie on the interface of traffic flow theory & simulation and advanced data assimilation and soft-computing techniques. With my PhD students that I co-supervised with my two mentors Henk van Zuylen (until 2008) and Serge Hoogendoorn (until 2013) I developed advanced travel time, traffic and origin-destination matrix monitoring, estimation and prediction methods and worked on new theories and models for multi-class traffic flows and travel time reliability. Today I serve as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems; I am an active member of two standing Transportation Research Board committees on Traffic flow theory and Characteristics and on Advanced Data and Computing Techniques respectively; and I serve as reviewer for most of the top tier journals in the transportation domain.

In my capacity as full professor I initiated the Delft integrated Traffic & Travel Laboratory (DiTTLab, www.DiTTLab.org). Within DiTTLab, traffic simulation tools are coupled with (big) data. In the OpenTrafficSimulation initiative the aim is to develop an advanced open source framework for multi-scale multi-modal traffic flow modelling and simulation. In the “Urban Mobility Lab” and “The Traffic Observatory” projects huge amounts of data are archived, fused and processed, and used for the advance of new and innovative data fusion and traffic estimation and prediction tools. In the mean time many exciting new projects are on their way in DiTTLAB — be sure to visit DiTTLAB.org!

About me

Title(s), initial(s), first name, surname: Dr. Ir. J.W.C. (Hans) van Lint
Male/female: Male
Date and place of birth: 15-04-1971, Delft
Nationality: Dutch

Current affiliations



Date: 01-09-1997 Faculty of Civil Engineering / Delft University of Technology
Subject: Predicting water levels in polders with neural networks


Date: 07-06-2004 Delft University of Technology (DUT), The Netherlands
Supervisor (‘Promoter’): Prof. Dr. H.J. van Zuylen
Title of thesis: Reliable travel time prediction for freeways

Publications (Links)

It is impossible to keep track of publications manually, so here’s the link to my google scholar page and Researchgate profile

Work Experience

2013-now Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Professor Traffic simulation & Computing (tenured) at the Transport and Planning (T&P) Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of the DUT. The Executive Board of the Delft University of Technology appoints AvL professorships to excellent, young researchers for their high international profile and superior research and teaching abilities.
2009-2013 Associate Professor Traffic Management (tenured) at the Transport and Planning (T&P) Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of the DUT.
2004-2009 Assistant Professor Traffic Management (from 2008 tenured)
2001-2004 (PhD) Researcher (fixed-term) at the Transport and Planning (T&P) Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of the DUT
2000-2001 Project Coordinator of the Regional Traffic Information Centre of the municipality of Rotterdam (fixed-term)
1999-2000 Project engineer at DHV Environment & Infrastructure, Amersfoort (fixed-term)
1997-1999 Programmer / Information analyst at I.T. Works, Delft (fixed-term)

Grants, Scholarships & Prizes

Grants, Scholarships & prizes

  • With team “www.fileradar.nl” 2nd place Academic Yearprize (2009)
  • NSF Career grant “Reversing the traffic jam: better predictions by looking back” (Veni/NWO 2007)
  • First prize in national travel time prediction competition (2007), Ministry of Transport
  • TRAIL scientific paper of the year at TRAIL Conference (2006)
Scholarship/Grant(PI) Amount Year of award
The Traffic and Travel Observatory, subproject I—sponsored by the National Datawarehouse (www.ndw.nu). This program contains 3 more projects for the years 2015-2018 150kE 2015
Urban Mobility Lab (UML) funded by AMS Consortium (TUD, MIT, LUW, A’dam, various industrial partners, 2014-2015) 150kE 2014
Task-leader of one of the three innovations programs (P3 – Effect studies) of the Dutch Integrated Test site Cooperative Mobility (DITCM) PM 2013
SI4MS – Sensor intelligence for mobility systems (NSF, 2011-2013) – 1 Postdoc 100kE 2011
The multimodal traffic management centre (Port of Rotterdam, 2008-2012) – 1 PhD 240kE 2008
www.regiolab-delft.nl traffic database (Ministry of Transport and others, 2008-now) +/- 100kE  2008
Reversing the traffic jam-better predictions by looking back (Personal NSF/Veni grant 2007-2010) 220kE 2007
Advanced traffic data fusion (ICIS/BSIK, 2006-2009) – 1 PhD 200kE 2006
Impacts of weather on traffic (RGI/BSIK, 2006-2008) – 1 PhD 150kE 2006
ATMO: Advanced traffic monitoring (Transumo/BSIK 2004-2009) – 4 PhD @ TU Delft (8 in total) 2,000kE 2004
Several smaller research projects (NSF Visitors grants, contract research, consultancy, etc):  235kE  2004-2015
Support / 2nd Opinion Monitoring Utrecht (Prov Utrecht, 2013-now) 30kE 2013-15
User Guide Traffic State Estimation & Data Fusion (Vialis, 2013) 20kE 2013
Visitor grant Prof Robert Bertini (NSF, 2010/11) 15kE 2011
Technische en functionele haalbaarheid CHECK algoritme (Min. Transport, 2009) 40kE 2009
Evaluatie en Analyse van Reisinformatie (evaluation and analysis travel information) (RWS, 2006) 60kE 2006
Sota Travel time prediction (TNO, 2005) 20kE 2005
Voorspelde Reistijden op DRIPs (predicted travel times on VMS’s) (RWS, 2005) 50kE 2005
Other consultancy  10kE Whole period
Subtotal 3,560kE
Scholarship/Grant Co-PI Amount Year of award
U-Smile (NSF 2016-2019): Urban Smart Measures and Incentives for quality of Life Enhancement – Task Leader Traffic Modelling and supervisor 1 PhD 240kE (TUD part) 2016
SETA (EU/H2020, 2016-2019): An open, sustainable, ubiquitous data and service ecosystem for efficient, effective, safe, resilient mobility in metropolitan areas – Task leader WP4 High dimensional predictive models and supervisor 1 PhD 400kE (TUD part) 2016
TRAIL-Graduate School (NSF, 2014-2018), with prof Marcheau and prof Van Wee. Grant for 2+3 MSc/PhD programme on the basis of the MSc TIL / RS TRAIL — 5 PhDs (stationed across the TRAIL network) 800kE 2013
NEARCTIS (EU/FP7): Network of Excellence for Advanced Road Cooperative traffic management in the Information Society, 2009-2013 400kE (TUD part) 2009
Traffic state estimators for coordinated control (part of C4C/EU FP7, 2009-2012) – 1 PhD 200kE 2007
Fastlane multiclass traffic flow model (ITS-Edulab / Ministry of Transport, 2007, 2008-2012) – 1 PhD 200kE 2007
Online OD Estimators & predictors (ITS Edulab / Ministry of Transport, 2007, 2008-2012) – 1 PhD 200kE 2007
Subtotal 1,800kE

Visits, Talks & Lectures


  • Invited lecturer / researcher University of Sydney, 28 Nov – 12 Dec 2015, Sydney, Australia
  • Invited researcher & lecturer at IPAM/UCLA for the IPAM programme “New Directions in Mathematical Approaches for Traffic Flow Management”
  • Keynote speaker SUMO2015 conference, 8-9 May, Berlin
  • Invited speaker “The Cutting-Edge Research in ITS and Traffic Flow Theory”, Hangzou, Oct 14, 2014
  • Invited speaker COLOMBO workshop, ITS Europe, Helsinki, June 2014
  • Invited speaker TRB Workshop “Reliability in real-time traveler information systems”, Washington D.C., Jan 2014
  • Invited speaker on the International Workshop on Transport Networks under Hazardous conditions, March 1 and 2, 2013, Tokyo, Japan
  • Invited lecturer / scholar at the Faculty of Information & Communication Technologies, Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, Australia, Nov-Dec 2012
  • Invited speaker/lecturer at the INFORMS World congress, Phoenix, Arizona, Oct, 2012
  • Invited lecturer (4-day “crash course traffic flow theory” with colleague Hoogendoorn),  Faculty of Informatics, Mathematics and Statistics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, May 2011
  • Various demonstrations / talks of the “Walking experiment” to explain why traffic control works:
    • At the MT-ITS Conference (Louvain, Belgium, 2011), including introductory lecture “How to convince Politicians and Policy Makers that ITS works”
    • At the introduction of the VLITS MSc program (Louvain, Belgium, 2011)
    • At the 2010 TRAIL Conference (Rotterdam), including dinner-talk about the results and implications
    • See Facebook entries on the TRB TFT committee (https://www.facebook.com/AHB45), “Why ramp metering / perimeter control works (part 1 and 2)”
  • Various invitations/visits to Tokyo University and NII (Oct 2006, 2008, 2010) in Japan. During the last visit the idea of multi-user web-technology for travel behavior under emergencies was “born”.
  • Invited talk on the Transportation Research Arena (TRA, Brussel, 2010) on Network-wide traffic management
  • Invited Talk at the NEARCTIS Workshop on Advanced Monitoring, London, Nov, 2009
  • Invited speaker/lecturer Belgrade Technical University, April, 2009
  • Sabbatical stay at the Transport group, Civil Engineering department, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, Oct 2008 – Jan 2009.
  • Co-organized an invited workshop tour with colleague Hoogendoorn and 6 of our PhD students to three Chinese universities in Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing, June, 2009
  • Invited talk on the CAITR conference Perth, Australia, Dec 2008
  • Invited lecturer/scholar ITS Centre Beijing, China, Mar-Apr, 2008
  • Each year I attend, present and chair sessions on larger and smaller international conferences, amongst which TRB Annual Meeting (yearly: Washington), IEEE Conference on ITS (Shanghai, Toronto, Vienna, Madeira), International Symposium of Traffic and Transport Theory (London), Traffic and Granular flow (Paris, Shanghai), World Conference on Transportation Research (Istanbul, Berkeley), TRISTAN (Acores, Tromso), ITS World Congress (Stockholm, Vienna), and various smaller conferences

National (selection)

  • Waarom verkeer zichzelf in de soep draait en wat dat betekent voor onze leefomgeving, Dag van de omgeving, RWS Noord-holland, May 24 2016, Haarlem
  • Why Traffic goes from bad to worse (and what we can do with that knowledge to improve transport in Amsterdam), Mobile City, Pakhuis de Zwijger, May 12 2016. Amsterdam
  • Big data and Models, PLATOS 2016, March 9 2016, Apeldoorn
  • Big Transport Data for Smart Cities, CROW, Utrecht, Feb 25, 2016
  • Kennis begint en eindigt met (Big) data, Rotterdam Smart City, November 19 2015, Rotterdam
  • NDW Observatory, Seminar: NDW stapt in de wereld van Big Data met DiTTLAB, November 15 2015, Utrecht
  • Waarom alle bedrijven en organisaties die maar iets aan verkeer en vervoer doen de deuren wagenwijd moeten openzetten voor studenten, RAILFORUM Stagebegeleider van het jaar, November 11th 2015, Utrecht
  • Urban Mobility Lab, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam (popular talk), June 25th 2015
  • (Big) Data and Models for Mobility, Intertraffic, March 28 2014, Amsterdam
  • Big Data voor Verkeersmanagement, Het Grote Big Data congress, 4 februari 2014
  • Lecture “de wiskunde achter de file”, 21st Dutch mathematics tournament (with 100 teams of 5 high school students), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Oct, 2012
  • Invited talk at the ICT/Delta congress (NWO/STW) De wetenschap achter het voorspellen van files – Fileradar.nl (EN: The science of predicting traffic jams – fileradar.nl), Den Haag, Nov, 2011
  • Invited talk Transparantie in dynamische modellen voor wegverkeer (Transparancy in dynamic models for road traffic), PLATOS Colloquium 2011
  • Invited talk (with prof Hoogendoorn) for the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure & Environment (Mrs Schultz-Verhaaghe), Hoe Benutten Beter kan – Met kennis naar slimmere oplossingen! (EN: How we can better utilize our road network – From knowledge to smarter solutions), Oct, 2010
  • Masterclass for an international World Bank delegation, Traffic Monitoring and ITS (with prof Hoogendoorn), Rotterdam, 2010
  • Large scale real time traffic state estimation & prediction, TRAIL International Masterclass, Delft, 2010
  • Netwerkmanagement en het NDW (with Dr. Hoogendoorn-Lanser), Nationaal datawarehouse congress, Driebergen, 2010
  • Masterclass Real Time Traffic Monitoring, Estimation & Prediction, ARS T&TT, Den Haag, 2010
  • Imperfecte reistijden en route navigatie: wat er kan gebeuren en waarom, Lecture for KIVI, Den Haag 2008
  • Advanced Data fusion and traffic monitoring, Series of interactive workshops for the Dutch National Data Warehouse (Dutch ministry of Transport on several locations from 2006-2008).
  • Crash course travel time prediction (with van Hinsbergen), TRAIL conference Rotterdam, Oct 2008
  • Travel time prediction & navigation…  Value for money? Some field observations, TRAIL Defence seminar Hao Liu, 2008
  • Verkeersmaatregelen: dweilen met de kraan open? Bijeenkomst Jonge Democraten, 2007
  • Reistijden voorspellen en waarom dat van belang is, “op de hoogte in Den Haag”, 2006
  • Wat als we alles weten?, Bits and Chips congress, Eindhoven, 2006

Educational Activities

PhD education

  •  PhD courses TRAIL research school:
    • Traffic phenomena (2013/2010); State estimation/prediction (2009);
    • Neural nets & Kalman filters (2008) and various contributions in other courses
  • International PhD courses:
    • Characteristics of Transport Systems, (2014) , IDEA League
    • 4-day course “Traffic flow phenomena and traffic flow models” (Univ Catalunya, 2011);
    • contributions to NEARCTIS/COST summerschools 2010 and 2011

M.Sc. Supervision & Education

    • M.Sc. student supervision: on average 4-6 MSc final thesis students per year (38 in total since 2004)
    • M.Sc Curriculum development
    • I serve(d) as director of education of the interfaculty M.Sc. programme Transport, Logistics & Infrastructure (2010-2016 0.1-0.2 fte). The Msc-TIL is a unique interdisciplinary 2-year Msc track jointly organized by three faculties (Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Policy & Management). With my team (coordinator + support staff) I have redesigned the curriculum drastically in the spring of 2011, to improve quality, coherence and feasibility. We reduced the number of specializations from 12 to 4 and now offer a balanced multidisciplinary program, of which the first year is fully scheduled. In 2013 MSc-TIL has been successfully reaccredited by the NVAO. Currently we have around 190 TIL students in the system, with a yearly influx that increased between 2011 to 2015 from 35 to 80 students.
    • M.Sc. courses (% responsibility): TIL4030 – Introduction Transport, Infrastructure, Logistics (50%); CIE5804 – Innovations in Dynamic Traffic Management (70%, from 2016: 15%)
    • BSc courses (% responsibility): CIE2710 – Introduction transport & planning (25%)

Professional education activities

    • Organiser/ principal lecturer 2-day professional courses on “Traffic Monitoring” (2006, 2008, 2010);
    • Contributions to other professional courses: Dynamic Traffic Management (2005 & 2007), Network Management (2010), Network reliability and robustness (2009, 2011)

Supervision of Students and Staff

Academic staff supervision

PhDs Promotor Co-promotor
Ongoing 5 (+1*)
Successfully completed 1 6 1
Subtotal 14
Post Doc’s 2
Subtotal 2
Other 2 (research assistant, programmer / technician)
Subtotal 2

*at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia with professor Hai Le Vu

PhD supervision

  • PhD students currently under supervision (as (co-)promotor):
    • Boudewijn Zwaal, Network traffic modelling (2016-2019)
    • Ding Luo, Multimodal predictive models (2016-2019)
    • Panchamy Krishnan,  Multiscale graph reconstruction from Geo data (2015-2019)
    • Tin Thien Nguyen, Deep learning and Pattern recognition for Traffic decision Support (at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, 2015-2019)
    • M. Joueaie, Multi-scale modeling of traffic flows (2011-2015, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • G. Tamminga, The OpenTraffic simulation platform (2011-2015, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
  • PhD students already graduated (*as (co-)promotor)
    • T. Djukic*, Online OD estimation (2008-2014, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • F. van Wageningen-Kessels (Cum Laude)*, Multi-class continuum traffic flow models: Analysis and simulation methods (2013, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • T. Schreiter*, Vehicle-class Specific Control of Freeway Traffic (2013, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • Y. Yuan*, Lagrangian Multi-Class Traffic State Estimation (2013, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • Q. Ou*, Fusing Heterogeneous Traffic Data: Parsimonious Approaches using Data-Data Consistency (2011, with Serge Hoogendoorn)
    • C. van Hinsbergen*, Bayesian Data Assimilation for Improved Modeling of Road Traffic (2010, with Henk van Zuylen)
    • H. Liu*, Travel Time Prediction for Urban Networks (2008, with Henk van Zuylen)
    • H. Tu, Monitoring Travel Time Reliability on Freeways (2008, with Henk van Zuylen)

External PhD supervision / committees

    • Marco Rinaldi, “Decentralised anticipatory network control”, Catholic University Leuven, 2016
    • Luís Alexandre Moreira Matias, “On Improving Operational Planning and Control in Public Transportation Networks using Streaming Data: A Machine Learning Approach”, Universidade do Porto, 2015/16
    • Sergej Rubins, “Information technologies and travel”, VU, 2015
    • Lie je, “Characteristics of Chinese Driver Behavior”, TU Delft. 2014
    • Nan Zheng, “A Dynamic Network Approach for Multimodal Urban Mobility: Modeling, Pricing and Control”, EPFL, 2014
    • Willem van Willigen, “Look Ma, No Hands! Aspects of Autonomous Vehicle Control”, VU, 2014
    • Fredric Rodrix, “Dynamic OD estimation in large-scale networks”, Catholic University Leuven, 2012
    • Mark Miska, “Real time Traffic Management by Microscopic Online Simulation”, TU Delft. 2007

Editorial and Committee Work

Editorial boards, reviews

  • Associate editor IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems  (IEEE T-ITS)
  • Associate Editor Transportation Research Part C – Emerging Technologies
  • Two guest editorships for special issues Computer Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (CACIE) & IEEE T-ITS (2010/11)
  • 2-6 reviews/month for intl journals & conferences (ISTTT, TRB, IEEE-ITS, IFAC, Transp. Res A, B, C, Transportation Science, CACIE, jnl Transportation Engineering, Proc Royal Society, etc.)

International committees & boards

  • Member of the IEEE society on ITS (since 2008)
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE society on ITS (2013-2016)
  • Co-chair of the 20th International Symposium on Transportation and Traffic Theory (ISTTT), in The Netherlands (2013)
  • Co-chair of the IEEE conference on ITS in The Netherlands (2013)
  • Member of the advisory board of COLOMBO, an FP7 project funded by the EU (2012-2015)
  • Member International Programme Committee of the M-ITS conference in Dresden (2013)
  • Member International Program Committee IEEE conferences on ITS (in 2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Chair organized sessions IEEE conferences on ITS (2010)
  • Member International Program Committee of the IEEE conference on Intelligent Vehicles (2009)
  • Member TRB (Transportation Research Board) standing committee on AI & Computing (since 2009)
  • Member TRB standing committee on Traffic flow theory and Characteristics (TFTC) (since 2010)
  • Chair of the TFTC-PEP Subcommittee (devoted to popularize traffic flow theory, since 2011).

National committees & boards

  • Member of the board of PLATOS (national platform traffic models) (from 2008 onwards)
  • Member of the board of the traffic and transport department of KIVI (Royal Dutch society of engineers) (2011-2013)
  • Member of the programme committee of “Vakdebat Verkeerskunde” (ANWB) (2012-2014)

Other (inter)national activities

  • Organisation committee of the 2nd Workshop on Traffic state estimation under the “New Directions in Mathematical Approaches for Traffic Flow Management” programmes at the institute for pure and applied mathematics (IPAM) of UCLA, California, USA (see also further below)
  • Development of multi-player gaming platform “Everscape” for research into evacuation behaviour in collaboration with the National Institute of Informatics (NII, Tokyo) (since 2010)
  • Development of an open source traffic and travel simulation environment (OpenTraffic) with Queensland University of Technology (QUT, Australia) and NII (since 2011).

Applications of Kalman Filtering in Traffic Management and Control

In many areas of traffic management and control the variables that are of most interest are often the ones that are most difficult to measure and estimate. Take for example vehicular density (vehicles per kilometer) and space-mean speed (kilometers per hour). A reliable real-time estimate of these quantities is critically important for real-time control of traffic networks. However, neither can be straightforwardly deduced from available sensor data. Similarly elusive quantities are origin-destination (OD) flows. These depict the amount of vehicles per hour planning to go from one place to another at a certain moment. Unless we literally know the origin and destination of all vehicles on a traffic network, advanced estimation techniques are required to extract OD pat- terns from whatever data and prior knowledge we have available. One intuitive and highly effective method to solve these types of problems (i.e., estimating a quantity x when all we have are observations y and prior knowledge about the process) is the Kalman filter, first proposed by Rudolf Kalman in 1960. In this tutorial we explain with many examples how this technique can be applied in the domain of traffic management and control to solve real-world problems. We will see that Kalman filtering is a powerful technique that works surprisingly well in many cases, but there are also clear limitations that relate to the many assumptions underlying its application.

Key words: Kalman filter; traffic management; traffic control; traffic state estimation; OD estimation; location tracking

Download here!

van Lint, H., T. Djukic. Applications of Kalman Filtering in Tra ffic Management and Control. P. Mirchandani, ed. INFORMS TutORials in Operations Research, Vol. 9. INFORMS, Hanover, MD, pp. 59–91

http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/educ.1120.0099, ©2012 INFORMS : ISBN 978-0-9843378-3-5

The physics of traffic Jams – Flash lecture by Hans van Lint on the TU Delft Youtube channel

Check out my first flash lecture (recorded in June 2010) on traffic jams!

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