MISTA 2009: Plenary Speakers

MISTA 2009 took place in Dublin on 10th to 12th August 2009.

We were fortunate enough to have the following plenary speakers at the conference

Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke, University of Nottingham, UK
A comparison of two methods for reducing take-off delay at London Heathrow airport
Abstract: This paper describes recent research into the departure process at London Heathrow, with the primary motivation of reducing the amount of fuel used, improving both the economic and environmental cost. Two proposals are considered here. The first proposal considers the practicality and potential benefits of aiding the controller to improve the take-off sequencing. The second proposal aims to absorb some of the inevitable delay for aircraft at the stands, before the engines are started, but also involves a take-off sequencing aspect. Models for the two take-off sequencing problems are presented in this paper, the second of which includes an additional pushback time (or TSAT) allocation sub-problem which has to be solved subsequently. These models have distinctive differences from the models for the takeoff and arrival sequencing problems which are usually considered in the literature, since they take into account necessary constraints imposed due to the control problem (whether a sequence can actually be achieved, and how) in each case. As discussed in this paper, the control problem cannot be ignored by the controllers at Heathrow, so cannot be ignored by any realistic system to aid them in their tasks. Comparative take-off sequencing results are presented for the two systems and the potential benefits from providing decision support to the runway controllers or improved TSAT allocation at the stands are considered. The paper ends with some overall conclusions from the research, showing the large potential benefits of these systems. The TSAT allocation system which is discussed in this paper has been developed for implementation at London Heathrow as one element of the Collaborative Decision Making project.

Follow this link to download the paper that was published in the conference proceedings in support of this plenary talk.

David Hine, Metropolitan Police, UK
Title: Football Sports Scheduling in the Real World
Abstract: David spoke about his role in the Metropolitan Police and the challenges in scheduling football fixtures (and other resources) in order to minimise costs as well as maintaining public order.

Moshe Dror
Moshe Dror, University of Arizona, USA
Title: Strong - Weak Precedence in Job Scheduling
Abstract: It is common knowledge that most applied combinatorial optimization problems with partial orders are NP-hard. Special cases of partial orders have been considered in great detail, permitting us to focus on an interesting precedence order distinction in scheduling. In this talk we will examine a partial order delineation of strong and wea’ precedence in chain and tree precedence structures.
We will present a summary of results regarding NP-hardness and polynomial time solvability for the distinction between strong and weak’precedence in scheduling. In many cases, NP-hardness for weak precedence implies NP-hardness for the strong precedence. However, this is not universally true, and the strong - weak distinction is proper - at least for the case of chains. We primarily focus on the results for chains and trees but extend the strong - weak precedence distinction to more general digraphs grounded in and motivated by actual real-life dispatching in multiprocessing systems that require stable schedules.

Follow this link to download the paper that was published in the conference proceedings in support of this plenary talk.

Raymond Kwan
Raymond Kwan, University of Leeds, UK
Title: Case studies of successful train crew scheduling optimization
Abstract: The UK has a very large and complex passenger rail network divided into a number of franchises. Train crew scheduling is mission critical to the train operating companies, which would feel the pain if they have to schedule manually. Until recent years, none of the few attempts by these companies to adopt an automatic optimizing train crew scheduling system was successful. Typically, systems were commissioned based on their potentials but then they were unable to deliver schedules of acceptable quality, and they were eventually abandoned by the train companies. The TrainTRACS system has changed the scenario. ScotRail adopted TrainTRACS in 2003 and has remained an active user to date. This success has spread rapidly by the University of Leeds spin-out company Tracsis Plc, and now most of the major UK train operating companies are using TrainTRACS. This paper presents case studies of recent pilot trials for new Tracsis clients to adopt TrainTRACS, highlighting some special scheduling situations encountered.

Follow this link to download the paper that was published in the conference proceedings in support of this plenary talk.