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A reactive decision support system for intermodal freight transportation

Abstract : Barge transportation is an important research topic that started to draw increasing scientific attention in the recent decade. Considered as sustainable, environment-friendly and economical, barge transportation has been identified as a competitive alternative for freight transportation, complementing the traditional road and rail modes. However, contributions related to barge transportation, especially in the context of intermodal transportation, are still scarce. The objective of this thesis is to contribute to fill this gap by proposing a reactive decision support system for freight intermodal barge transportation from the perspective of the carriers. The proposed system incorporates resource and revenue management concepts and principles to build the optimal set of scheduled services plans at the tactical level. Carriers may thus benefit from transportation plans offering increased flexibility and reliability. They could thus serve more demands and better satisfy customers. One novelty of the approach is the application of revenue management considerations (e.g., market segmentation and price differentiation) at both operational and tactical planning levels. The optimization problems are mathematically formalized and mixed integer linear programming (MILP) models are proposed, implemented and tested against various network settings and demand scenarios, for each decision level. At the tactical level, a new solution approach, combining adaptive large neighborhood search (ALNS) and Tabu search is designed to solve large scale MILP problems. An integrated simulation framework, including the tactical and the operational levels jointly, is proposed to validate the decision support system in different settings, in terms of physical network topology, revenue management parameters and accuracy degree of demand forecasts. To analyze the numerical results corresponding to the solutions of the optimization problems, several categories of performance indicators are proposed and used.
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Yunfei Wang. A reactive decision support system for intermodal freight transportation. Embedded Systems. Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambresis, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017VALE0010⟩. ⟨tel-01722143⟩

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