A Matheuristic Approach to Integrate Humping and Pullout Sequencing Operations at Railroad Hump Yards

Jørgen Thorlund Haahr, Richard Martin Lusby

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Abstract

    This article presents a novel matheuristic for solving the hump yard block-to-track assignment problem. This is an important problem arising in the railway freight industry and involves scheduling the transitions of a set of rail cars from a set of inbound trains to a set of outbound trains over a certain planning horizon. It was also the topic of the 2014 challenge organized by the Railway Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for which the proposed matheuristic was awarded first prize. Our approach decomposes the problem into three highly dependent subproblems. Optimization-based strategies are adopted for two of these, while the third is solved using a greedy heuristic. We demonstrate the efficiency of the complete framework on the official datasets, where solutions within 4–14% of a known lower bound (to a relaxed problem) are found. We further show that improvements of around 8% can be achieved if outbound trains are allowed to be delayed by up to 2 h in the hope of ensuring an earlier connection for some of the rail cars. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNetworks
    Volume67
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)126–138
    Number of pages13
    ISSN0028-3045
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Cite this

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    title = "A Matheuristic Approach to Integrate Humping and Pullout Sequencing Operations at Railroad Hump Yards",
    abstract = "This article presents a novel matheuristic for solving the hump yard block-to-track assignment problem. This is an important problem arising in the railway freight industry and involves scheduling the transitions of a set of rail cars from a set of inbound trains to a set of outbound trains over a certain planning horizon. It was also the topic of the 2014 challenge organized by the Railway Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for which the proposed matheuristic was awarded first prize. Our approach decomposes the problem into three highly dependent subproblems. Optimization-based strategies are adopted for two of these, while the third is solved using a greedy heuristic. We demonstrate the efficiency of the complete framework on the official datasets, where solutions within 4–14{\%} of a known lower bound (to a relaxed problem) are found. We further show that improvements of around 8{\%} can be achieved if outbound trains are allowed to be delayed by up to 2 h in the hope of ensuring an earlier connection for some of the rail cars. {\circledC} 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.",
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    A Matheuristic Approach to Integrate Humping and Pullout Sequencing Operations at Railroad Hump Yards. / Haahr, Jørgen Thorlund; Lusby, Richard Martin .

    In: Networks, Vol. 67, No. 2, 2016, p. 126–138.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    AU - Haahr, Jørgen Thorlund

    AU - Lusby, Richard Martin

    PY - 2016

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    N2 - This article presents a novel matheuristic for solving the hump yard block-to-track assignment problem. This is an important problem arising in the railway freight industry and involves scheduling the transitions of a set of rail cars from a set of inbound trains to a set of outbound trains over a certain planning horizon. It was also the topic of the 2014 challenge organized by the Railway Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for which the proposed matheuristic was awarded first prize. Our approach decomposes the problem into three highly dependent subproblems. Optimization-based strategies are adopted for two of these, while the third is solved using a greedy heuristic. We demonstrate the efficiency of the complete framework on the official datasets, where solutions within 4–14% of a known lower bound (to a relaxed problem) are found. We further show that improvements of around 8% can be achieved if outbound trains are allowed to be delayed by up to 2 h in the hope of ensuring an earlier connection for some of the rail cars. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

    AB - This article presents a novel matheuristic for solving the hump yard block-to-track assignment problem. This is an important problem arising in the railway freight industry and involves scheduling the transitions of a set of rail cars from a set of inbound trains to a set of outbound trains over a certain planning horizon. It was also the topic of the 2014 challenge organized by the Railway Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for which the proposed matheuristic was awarded first prize. Our approach decomposes the problem into three highly dependent subproblems. Optimization-based strategies are adopted for two of these, while the third is solved using a greedy heuristic. We demonstrate the efficiency of the complete framework on the official datasets, where solutions within 4–14% of a known lower bound (to a relaxed problem) are found. We further show that improvements of around 8% can be achieved if outbound trains are allowed to be delayed by up to 2 h in the hope of ensuring an earlier connection for some of the rail cars. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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