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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/2075

Title: A 'less-flexibility-first' heuristic for the placement of inland vessels in a lock
Authors: Theunissen, C
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: Inland vessels move goods along waterways (canals and rivers) and they visit ports. Because of their tidal nature, vessels make use of locks to enter ports or waterways. From a port management point of view, fast access to and from the port and high utilization of locks are important objectives. Where the former relates to low inbound and outbound waiting times, the latter relates to the placement of as many vessels as possible in the lock before its operation. This article includes a case study that relates to the operation of the Van Cauwelaert lock in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Lock operation policy is as follows: vessels wait in front of the lock for a port administrator to assign places in the lock based on knowledge of the vessels' dimensions. As such, there is no FIFO-discipline, but a 'group-FIFO'-discipline, i.e. if n vessels are allowed into the lock, they are the first n vessels in the arrival queue. A heuristic algorithm is formulated for the placement of vessels in the lock. This algorithm supports the decision where to place the vessel in the lock, aiming to place as many vessels as possible from the arrival queue. At the same time, it supports the decision to start a locking operation or not, based on information about vessels that are announced but which have not yet arrived at the lock's entrance. The heuristic is called a 'less-flexibility-first'-heuristic as it looks for pseudo-placements, showing which flexibility is left for the remaining vessels after placing a vessel. This article describes the implementation of the heuristic and provides numerical examples. A comparison is made between the heuristic results and daily practice, based on real-life vessel movements through the Van Cauwelaert lock in 2002.
Notes: Limburgs Univ Ctr, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.Janssens, GK, Limburgs Univ Ctr, Univ Campus Bldg D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.gerrit.janssens@luc.ac.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/2075
DOI: 10.1080/03081060500515556
ISI #: 000236551600002
ISSN: 0308-1060
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2007
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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