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Cai B.,University of Technology, Sydney | Huang S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Liu D.,University of Technology, Sydney | Yuan S.,University of Technology, Sydney | And 3 more authors.
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems | Year: 2011

In this paper, an optimisation model based on Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Windows (PDPTW), and an exact algorithm based on Branch-and-Bound with Column Generation (BBCG), are presented for Autonomous Straddle Carriers Scheduling (ASCS) problem at automated container terminals. The ASCS problem is firstly modeled into a PDPTW, which is formulated as a Binary Integer Programming (BIP) and then solved by Column Generation (CG) in the Branch-and-Bound (BB) framework. The BBCG algorithm is also compared to another two exact algorithms [i.e., Binary integer Programming with Dynamic Programming (BPDP) and Exhaustive Search with Permutation and Combination (ESPC)] for the ASCS problem solving. Based on the map of an actual automated container terminal, simulation results and discussions are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the presented model and algorithm for autonomous vehicle scheduling. © 2011 IEEE. Source


Yuan S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Skinner B.T.,University of Technology, Sydney | Huang S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Liu D.K.,University of Technology, Sydney | And 3 more authors.
Advanced Engineering Informatics | Year: 2011

This paper proposes a practical job grouping approach, which aims to enhance the time related performance metrics of container transfers in the Patrick AutoStrad container terminal, located in Brisbane, Australia. It first formulates a mathematical model of the automated container transfers in a relatively complex environment. Apart from the consideration on collision avoidance of a fleet of large vehicles in a confined area, it also deals with many other difficult practical challenges such as the presence of multiple levels of container stacking and sequencing, variable container orientations, and vehicular dynamics that require finite acceleration and deceleration times. The proposed job grouping approach aims to improve the makespan of the schedule for yard jobs, while reducing straddle carrier waiting time by grouping jobs using a guiding function. The performance of the current sequential job allocation method and the proposed job grouping approach are evaluated and compared statistically using a pooled t-test for 30 randomly generated yard configurations. The experimental results show that the job grouping approach can effectively improve the schedule makespan and reduce the total straddle carrier waiting time. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Yuan S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Skinner B.T.,University of Technology, Sydney | Huang S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Liu D.K.,Patrick Technology Systems | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation | Year: 2010

The main contribution of this paper is a mathematical model describing performance metrics for coordinating multiple mobile robots in a seaport container terminal. The scenario described here requires dealing with many difficult practical challenges such as the presence of multiple levels of container stacking and sequencing, variable container orientations, and vehicular dynamics that require finite acceleration and deceleration times. Furthermore, in contrast to the automatically guided vehicle planning problem in a manufacturing environment, the container carriers described here are free ranging. Although, the port structure imposes a set of "virtual" roadways along which the vehicles are allowed to travel, path planning is essential in preventing contention and collisions. A performance metric which minimises total yard-vehicle usage, while producing robust traffic plans by encouraging both early starting and finishing of jobs is presented for different vehicle fleet sizes and job allocation scenarios. ©2010 IEEE. Source


Skinner B.,University of Technology, Sydney | Yuan S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Huang S.,University of Technology, Sydney | Liu D.,University of Technology, Sydney | And 5 more authors.
Computers and Industrial Engineering | Year: 2013

Abstract This paper presents a genetic algorithm (GA)-based optimisation approach to improve container handling operations at the Patrick AutoStrad container terminal located in Brisbane Australia. In this paper we focus on scheduling for container transfers and encode the problem using a two-part chromosome approach which is then solved using a modified genetic algorithm. In simulation experiments, the performance of the GA-based approach and a sequential job scheduling method are evaluated and compared with different scheduling scenarios. The experimental results show that the GA-based approach can find better solutions which improve the overall performance. The GA-based approach has been implemented in the terminal scheduling system and the live testing results show that the GA-based approach can reduce the overall time-related cost of container transfers at the automated container terminal. Crown Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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