Analysing trade-offs in container loading: Combining load plan construction heuristics with agent-based simulation
Bischoff, Eberhard E.
International Transactions in Operational Research
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24-month embargo required by publisher
In this paper we describe two operations research techniques, cutting and packing optimisation (CPO) and simulation, and present a multi-methodology approach for analysing the trade-offs between loading efficiency and various important practical considerations in relation to the cargo, such as its stability, fragility or possible cross-contamination between different types of items over time. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated by considering a situation where the items to be loaded have differing degrees of perishability and where badly deteriorated items can affect those in their immediate vicinity (e.g. through the spread of mould). Our approach uses the output of the CPO algorithms to create agents that simulate the spread of mould through proximity-based interactions between the agents. The results show the trade-offs involved in container utilisation and the propagation of mould, without evidence of any correlation between them. The contribution of this research is the methodology and the feasibility study.
This is the accepted version of the following article: Analysing Trade-offs in Container Loading: Combining Load Plan Construction Heuristics with Agent-based Simulation. International Transactions in Operational Research, 20(4): 471-491which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/itor.12017/abstract
Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 471 - 491