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 Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow
10.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>