Intelligent Control of Vehicle-Based Internal Transport Systems
By Tuan Le Anh
Intelligent control of vehicle-based internal transport (VBIT) systems copes with real-time dispatching and scheduling of internal-transport vehicles, such as forklifts and guided vehicles. VBIT systems can be found in warehouses, distribution centres, manufacturing plants, airport and transhipment terminals. Using simulation of two real world environments, dispatching rules described in literature and several newly introduced rules are compared on performance. The performance evaluation suggests that in environments where queue space is not a restriction, distance-based dispatching rules such as shortest-travel-distance-first outperform time-based dispatching rules such as modified-first-come-first-served and using load pre-arrival information has a significant positive impact on reducing the average load waiting time. Experimental results also reveal that multi-attribute dispatching rules combining distance and time aspects of vehicles and loads are robust to variations in working conditions. In addition, multi-attribute rules which take vehicle empty travel distance and vehicle requirement at a station into account perform very well in heavy-traffic VBIT systems such as baggage handling systems. Besides dispatching rules, the potential contribution of dynamic vehicle scheduling for VBIT systems is investigated. Experiments using simulation in combination with optimization show that when sufficient pre-arrival information is available a dynamic scheduling approach outperforms the dispatching approach. This thesis also evaluates the impact of guide-path layout, load arrival rate and variance, and the amount of load pre-arrival information on different vehicle control approaches (scheduling and dispatching). Based on experimental results, recommendations for selecting appropriate vehicle control approaches for specific situations are presented.
About Tuan Le Anh
Tuan Le Anh was born in Hanoi, Vietnam (1973). He studied electrical engineering at the Hanoi University of Technology and received his bachelor and master degrees in electrical engineering in 1995 and 1997. In 1998, he got his postgraduate diploma in industrial engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology. In 2000, he received his master degree (with great distinction) in industrial management at the Catholic University of Leuven with the thesis on applying heuristics to solve multi-item single-level capacitated lot-sizing problems. From 2001, he started his PhD research at the Erasmus University. His PhD research focuses on the operational control of vehicle-based internal transport systems, which has resulted in a number of published articles in international scientific journals such as Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Production Research and European Journal of Operational Research. He has also given presentations on his research in several international conferences in both Europe and North America.