Agent-based container terminal optimisation
Winikoff, Michael; Wagner, Hanno-Felix; Young, Thomas; Cranefield, Stephen; Jarquin, Roger; Li, Guannan; Martin, Brent; Unland, Rainer
Container terminals play a critical role in international shipping and are under pressure to cope with increasing container traffic. The problem of managing container terminals effectively has a number of characteristics which make agents a suitable technology to consider applying. Container terminals involve the operation of distributed entities (e.g. quay cranes, straddle carriers) which coordinate to achieve competing goals in a dynamic environment. This paper describes a joint industry-university project which has explored the applicability of agent technology to the domain of container terminal management. We describe an emulation platform of a container terminal based on the JADE agent framework, along with two optimisations that have been developed and integrated with the emulator: allocating container moves to machines through negotiation, and allocating containers to yard locations through an evolutionary algorithm.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 2011/01
Keywords: container terminal management; container terminal optimisation; logistics
Research Type: Discussion Paper