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A branch-and-cut algorithm for the quay crane scheduling problem in a container terminal. (English) Zbl 1112.90033
Summary: The quay crane scheduling problem consists of determining a sequence of unloading and loading movements for cranes assigned to a vessel in order to minimize the vessel completion time as well as the crane idle times. Idle times originate from interferences between cranes since these roll on the same rails and a minimum safety distance must be maintained between them. The productivity of container terminals is often measured in terms of the time necessary to load and unload vessels by quay cranes, which are the most important and expensive equipment used in ports. We formulate the quay crane scheduling problem as a vehicle routing problem with side constraints, including precedence relationships between vertices. For small size instances our formulation can be solved by CPLEX. For larger ones we have developed a branch-and-cut algorithm incorporating several families of valid inequalities, which exploit the precedence constraints between vertices.

90B35 Deterministic scheduling theory in operations research
90C57 Polyhedral combinatorics, branch-and-bound, branch-and-cut
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