Agent-Based Dispatching Enables Autonomous Groupage Traffic

Max Gath 1 , Stefan Edelkamp 1  and Otthein Herzog 1
  • 1 Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Center for Computing and Communication Technologies, Am Fallturm 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract

The complexity and dynamics in groupage traffic require flexible, efficient, and adaptive planning and control processes. The general problem of allocating orders to vehicles can be mapped into the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). However, in practical applications additional requirements complicate the dispatching processes and require a proactive and reactive system behavior. To enable automated dispatching processes, this article presents a multiagent system where the decision making is shifted to autonomous, interacting, intelligent agents. Beside the communication protocols and the agent architecture, the focus is on the individual decision making of the agents which meets the specific requirements in groupage traffic. To evaluate the approach we apply multiagent-based simulation and model several scenarios of real world infrastructures with orders provided by our industrial partner. Moreover, a case study is conducted which covers the autonomous groupage traffic in the current processes of our industrial parter. The results reveal that agent-based dispatching meets the sophisticated requirements of groupage traffic. Furthermore, the decision making supports the combination of pickup and delivery tours efficiently while satisfying logistic request priorities, time windows, and capacity constraints.

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