AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth IAAI Conference

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Train Outstable Scheduling as Constraint Satisfaction
Andy Hon Wai Chun

Last modified: 2013-06-28

Abstract


This paper outlines the design of a scheduling algorithm that allocates outstabling locations to railway trains. From time to time railway trains may need to be outstabled to temporary locations, such as stations, sidings, depots, etc., until they are needed for regular operations. This is common for urban rail transit, and especially so for those that do not operate 24 hours. During non-traffic hours (NTH), trains are outstabled to various locations along the rail network so that when operations start again next day, the trains will be nearby their originating station or conveniently located so that they can be put into service whenever needed. However, this is complicated by the fact that engineering works, such as rail testing, installation, regular maintenance, etc. are done during the NTH. Therefore, passenger trains must be outstabled in such a way that they do not interfere with night-time engineering works or the movements of associated engineering trains. Since the engineering works scheduling is done separate to outstabling, this is a mixed-system problem. This paper shows how we modeled this as a constraint-satisfaction problem (CSP) and implemented into an “Outstabling System” (OSS) for the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) using a two-stage search algorithm.


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