Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better Order for Airline Routes - Solutions to the Tail Assignment Problem

21.09.2005


A single airline can have thousands of planes taking off and landing all over the world every day. Since every minute is expensive and security is a top priority, somebody has to keep them in line. Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has come up with a solution to the problem.



Mattias Grönkvist, author of a dissertation on the subject, describes the difficulty in concrete terms:

“If ten plans have just landed at an airport, you have to have a schedule that says in what order the planes should take off­-and where they are heading. This is determined by numerous conditions. For example, not all types of airplanes are allowed to land at all airports, and the planes have to have sufficiently large fuel tanks to complete each trip. Everything has to be done as efficiently and economically as possible, with sufficient safety.”


The problem is usually called the Tail Assignment Problem­-named after the planes’ so-called tail numbers. In other words, it’s a matter of determining what sequence of flights­routes­-each individual airplane is going to fly. The routes must be constructed in such a way as to provide for sufficient maintenance of every plane and to fulfill a number of regulations. Sometimes it is moreover desirable for the routes created to be optimized in some particular way, such as being minimally affected by delays.

For relatively large airlines the Tail Assignment Problem is highly complex. For instance, from an airline’s hub airport there are an enormous number of routes to choose among. Computer programs are deployed to get a handle on all the different conditions. These programs are based on mathematical models.

One of the aims of Mattias Grönkvist’s work was to come to grips with a couple of the drawbacks of the models most commonly used by airlines today: “Often, not all necessary regulations are addressed, which means that the routes created are difficult to use without extra manual intervention.” “Most models can only be optimized in regard to a certain predetermined criterion.” “Traditional models are often used for only a certain type of planning scenario.”

Mattias Grönkvist has combined two ways of solving these problems, on the one hand, using strictly mathematical methods and, on the other, using methods from computer science that have to do with conditional programming. The idea has been mooted before but can now be executed in practice, partly thanks to the explosive growth in the power of computers in recent years.

“My solution is more generally applicable than its predecessors, and it is designed to be used in a greater part of the planning process. I believe this type of combined methodology will be further developed and become more and more common in the future,” says Mattias Grönkvist.

His method has already been put to use in a commercial product that is used by two airlines. The work was carried out as part of a project together with Carmen Systems AB, which develops and markets programs for solving various logistical and planning problems. In the aviation industry the company has previously worked mostly with timetabling of personnel.

Jorun Fahle | alfa
Further information:
http://www.chalmers.se

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>