Title: Container handling using multi-agent architecture

Authors: Meriam Kefi, Khaled Ghedira, Ouajdi Korbaa, Pascal Yim

Addresses: National School of Computing Science, Manouba University, 2010 Manouba, Tunisia. ' National School of Computing Science, Manouba University, 2010 Manouba, Tunisia. ' Ecole Centrale de Lille, BP 48, Cite scientifique, F59651 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France. ' Ecole Centrale de Lille, BP 48, Cite scientifique, F59651 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France

Abstract: Container terminals are essential intermodal interfaces in the global transportation network. Efficient container handling at terminals is important in reducing transportation costs and keeping shipping schedules. This paper discusses a multi-agent model to simulate, solve and optimise the amount of storage space for handling container departures within a fluvial or maritime port. The multi-agent model is developed to minimise the expected total number of shifts or relocations while respecting spatio-temporal constraints. Experimental and numerical runs are given and illustrated. These runs carry out the proposed multi-agent model with comparison to the associated centralised version, basing on non-informed search algorithm and informed search algorithm. They show that the multi-agent model reduces rather the number of expected relocation movements especially when basing on informed search algorithm. We have also compare performances of our model with those of the B&B method and the heuristic-based method proposed in related works.

Keywords: transportation; container terminals; container stacking; multi-agent systems; MAS; agent-based systems; heuristics; modelling; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIIDS.2009.027691

International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.338 - 360

Published online: 07 Aug 2009 *

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