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Title: Transport scheduling by computer
Author: Wren, Anthony
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis describes the design of heuristics and of mathematical tools to solve scheduling problems, and the successful application of the resultant computer software to real life situations, principally in the public transport industry. The work started in 1960 and led, in 1963, to the world's first implemented rail locomotive schedule produced by computer. Subsequently, most of the research was undertaken in conjunction with the bus industry. A range of heuristic methods for scheduling the vehicles was developed. During the 1970's these methods were applied by the candidate to about fifteen bus companies, resulting in substantial operational savings. Later, the software was further developed, and installed for about thirty different bus and rail organisations. Driver scheduling, which is more complicated, was based first on heuristics, but later on an integer linear programming model whose constraint and variable sets were reduced to tractable size by a series of especially designed heuristics. Most of the organisations which use the vehicle scheduling programs also use the driver scheduling system, which was first installed, in 1984, for London Transport. The success of the research is due both to its scientific content and to the candidate's endeavours to prepare the transport industry for the use of computers in scheduling. Several papers presented here were part of this preparation process, educating the industry about what could be achieved, and presenting the results of individual exercises. Some feasibility studies in rail scheduling are also presented. A number of papers deal with other studies carried out with the bus industry, for example the use of simulation to determine the robustness of a schedule, and the determination of fare scales. Related problems include the construction of routes for road freight vehicles, the choice of sites for delivery depots, and the determination of sites and heights for electricity pylons. Papers on these are included. Current research includes investigations into the use of knowledge based systems and of genetic algorithms in attempts to improve the driver scheduling processes. In conjunction with a German organisation, other work seeks to combine the best parts of the candidate's work and that of the German team; this has led to the production of extensve reports in German, which are given in the appendix.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available