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A Self-Organizing Grouping Approach for Ship Traffic Scheduling in Restricted One-Way Waterway

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Ship scheduling optimization is one of the most effective ways to eliminate the bottlenecks of waterway transportation, especially in restricted one-way waterways. In this study, a novel scheduling model called self-organizing grouping is proposed to minimize two types of delay time, which are the waiting time and the extra navigation time caused by speed reduction. The proposed model schedules ships in an iterative way based on the distributed scheduling mode. To alleviate the impact of local scheduling on the overall traffic efficiency, a grouping method is proposed, in which the ships are divided into different groups based on their arrival time interval. Moreover, the ships in the same group are scheduled to minimize the interferences among them by incorporating a grouping improvement strategy. The strategy is used to deal with the influence of ships with very small speed. Experiments are carried out by comparing the proposed model with the first-come-first-serve model and the ship self-organizing cooperation model. Simulation results show that the delay time is reduced by 25%‐30% and approximately by 5% compared with that from the two models, respectively. Such advantage also exists for different combinations of ship traffic parameters. In addition, long-distance sailing with limited speed can be avoided using the proposed method, which is beneficial to relieve waterway traffic congestion.
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Keywords: restricted waterway; self-organizing grouping; ship scheduling; waterway transportation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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