We consider the real-time scheduling of full truckload transportation orders with time windows that arrive during schedule execution. Because a fast scheduling method is required, look-ahead heuristics are traditionally used to solve these kinds of problems. As an alternative, we introduce an agent-based approach where intelligent vehicle agents schedule their own routes. They interact with job agents, who strive for minimum transportation costs, using a Vickrey auction for each incoming order. This approach offers several advantages: it is fast, requires relatively little information and facilitates easy schedule adjustments in reaction to information updates. We compare the agent-based approach to more traditional hierarchical heuristics in an extensive simulation experiment. We find that a properly designed multiagent approach performs as good as or even better than traditional methods. Particularly, the multi-agent approach yields less empty miles and a more stable service level.
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publisher||University of Twente, Research School for Operations Management and Logistics (BETA)|
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Name||Beta working papers|
|Publisher||Beta Research School for Operations Management and Logistics, University of Twente|
- Multi-Agent Systems
Mes, M. R. K., van der Heijden, M. C., & van Harten, A. (2005). Comparison of agent-based scheduling to look-ahead heuristics for real-time transportation problems. (Beta working papers; No. 161). Enschede: University of Twente, Research School for Operations Management and Logistics (BETA).