Douma has developed a new method for the optimum planning of the rotation of a barge in the port: the barge loads or unloads containers at various terminals in the best possible order, that is, the order that gives the least delay.
A central director would seem to be the most obvious solution here, but this is not usual because barge and terminal operators do not like to divulge competition-sensitive information. However, the present system of making appointments is vulnerable and entails a great deal of uncertainty with regard to waiting times. In a port that is becoming busier and busier, this can cause unnecessary waiting times.Agents negotiate
Of the negotiation strategies examined, this service time profile gave the best planning results. The barge’s agent asks for the service profiles of the terminals and can quickly determine the best order in which to visit the terminals. Subsequently the barge’s and the terminal’s agents agree on the times: the barge arrives before a certain time and the terminal promises to complete activities within a maximum service time.
Mr Douma says that simulations with the multi-agent approach in realistic port situations show that the method is able to considerably reduce the average time for which barges stay in the port. The total waiting time decreases, for example, because the barge operator will first try to make agreements with the terminal which seems to be causing a bottleneck; he uses the waiting time for that terminal efficiently by planning other terminals in that same period. However, the system is not rigid: the ‘service time’ concept allows a certain amount of leeway so that it is still possible for terminals to fit in other barges if circumstances change. The research also included the development of a ‘serious game’, which was played in various workshops with port professionals. The game sessions enabled the refinement of the agent concept and discussions on the feasibility of putting the system into practice.
Albert Douma has defended his PhD on 9 December . His thesis is titled ‘Aligning the operations of barges and terminals through distributed planning’. He was supervised by Dr Peter Schuur and Prof. Jos van Hillegersberg. The research is part of the national project TRANSUMO (Transition to Sustainable Mobility, www.transumo.nl) in The Netherlands and is being carried out at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT) of the University of Twente.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering