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A branch and bound algorithm for scheduling trains in a railway network. (English) Zbl 1179.90135
Summary: The paper studies a train scheduling problem faced by railway infrastructure managers during real-time traffic control. When train operations are perturbed, a new conflict-free timetable of feasible arrival and departure times needs to be re-computed, such that the deviation from the original one is minimized. The problem can be viewed as a huge job shop scheduling problem with no-store constraints. We make use of a careful estimation of time separation among trains, and model the scheduling problem with an alternative graph formulation. We develop a branch and bound algorithm which includes implication rules enabling to speed up the computation. An experimental study, based on a bottleneck area of the Dutch rail network, shows that a truncated version of the algorithm provides proven optimal or near optimal solutions within short time limits.

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