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
New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
17.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy