Title: Hierarchical route control in DCV-based baggage handling systems

Authors: A.N. Tarau, B. De Schutter, J. Hellendoorn

Addresses: Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. ' Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. ' Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: Modern baggage handling systems transport baggage at high speeds, on track networks, using Destination Coded Vehicles (DCV). To ensure optimal DCVs routing, we propose a hierarchical control framework that consists of local switch controllers providing switch position instructions and a supervisory network controller. The routing control problem for the network controller is a nonlinear optimisation problem with high computational requirements. Therefore, we present an alternative approach for reducing the computational complexity by approximating the nonlinear optimisation and rewriting it as a Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) problem. The advantage is that for MILP problems solvers are available that can efficiently compute the global optimal solution. The MILP solution is then used for computing optimal switch control actions. For a benchmark case study we compare the hierarchical route control with previously developed switch control approaches. Results indicate that the proposed hierarchical control offers a balanced trade-off between optimality and computational effort.

Keywords: baggage handling systems; route control; hierarchical control; destination coded vehicles; DCVs; airports; luggage; routing; network controllers; nonlinear optimisation; mixed integer linear programming; MILP; track networks; local switch controllers; switch position instructions; supervisory controllers; optimal solutions; computational requirements; complexity; optimality; computational effort; services operations; services management; informatics; logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOI.2011.038311

International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics, 2011 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.5 - 29

Available online: 28 Jan 2011 *

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