Comparison of agent-based scheduling to look-ahead heuristics for real-time transportation problems

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Mes, Martijn and Heijden, Matthieu van der and Harten, Aart van (2007) Comparison of agent-based scheduling to look-ahead heuristics for real-time transportation problems. European Journal of Operational Research, 181 (1). pp. 59-75. ISSN 0377-2217

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Abstract:We consider the real-time scheduling of full truckload transportation orders with time windows that arrive during schedule execution. Because a fast scheduling method is required, look-ahead heuristics are traditionally used to solve these kinds of problems. As an alternative, we introduce an agent-based approach where intelligent vehicle agents schedule their own routes. They interact with job agents, who strive for minimum transportation costs, using a Vickrey auction for each incoming order. This approach offers several advantages: it is fast, requires relatively little information and facilitates easy schedule adjustments in reaction to information updates. We compare the agent-based approach to more traditional hierarchical heuristics in an extensive simulation experiment. We find that a properly designed multi-agent approach performs as good as or even better than traditional methods. Particularly, the multi-agent approach yields less empty miles and a more stable service level.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2006 Elsevier
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Management and Governance (SMG)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/58598
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2006.02.051
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