Optimising a coal rail network under capacity constraints

Liu, Shi Qiang & Kozan, Erhan (2011) Optimising a coal rail network under capacity constraints. Flexible Service and Manufacturing, 23, pp. 90-110.

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This research deals with an innovative methodology for optimising the coal train scheduling problem. Based on our previously published work, generic solution techniques are developed by utilising a “toolbox” of standard well-solved standard scheduling problems. According to our analysis, the coal train scheduling problem can be basically modelled a Blocking Parallel-Machine Job-Shop Scheduling (BPMJSS) problem with some minor constraints. To construct the feasible train schedules, an innovative constructive algorithm called the SLEK algorithm is proposed. To optimise the train schedule, a three-stage hybrid algorithm called the SLEK-BIH-TS algorithm is developed based on the definition of a sophisticated neighbourhood structure under the mechanism of the Best-Insertion-Heuristic (BIH) algorithm and Tabu Search (TS) metaheuristic algorithm. A case study is performed for optimising a complex real-world coal rail system in Australia. A method to calculate the lower bound of the makespan is proposed to evaluate results. The results indicate that the proposed methodology is promising to find the optimal or near-optimal feasible train timetables of a coal rail system under network and terminal capacity constraints.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 48671
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Coal train scheduling, Blocking, Parallel-machine, Job shop, Tabu search
DOI: 10.1007/s10696-010-9069-9
ISSN: 1936-6582
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2012 04:36
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2012 04:36

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