Agent-Based Container Terminal Optimisation
Container terminals have become important components in global logistics and transportation. The continuing growth of container transport is adding pressure to container terminals to improve efficiency. The problem of managing container terminals has a number of characteristics which make agents a suitable technology to consider applying. There is operation of distributed entities (e.g. quay cranes, straddle carriers) during container terminal operation; furthermore, the entities are autonomous, and coordinate to achieve competing goals in a dynamic environment. This research is a joint industry-university project which has explored the applicability of agent technology to the domain of container terminal management. The aim of this research is to develop an agent-based solution to allocating containers to straddle carriers in order to improve efficiency and reduce the ship turnaround time. We developed an agent-based mechanism for allocating container moves to straddle carriers. The mechanism uses a negotiation process to allocate containers to straddle carriers. We have implemented this negotiation-based approach for container management using of a Tabu Search framework (OpenTS). The results of the research indicate that the performance of the port can be improved by an agent-based approach. In particular, an agent-based technique is a natural choice for a container terminal operation which has high level of detail and is a dynamic environment.
Advisor: Winikoff, Michael; Cranefield, Stephen
Degree Name: Master of Applied Science
Degree Discipline: Department of Information Science
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: multi-agent; Container terminal
Research Type: Thesis