Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

The flexible scheduler

For transport operators the flexibility of operating schedules is a key factor in competitiveness. The Decision-Aided Rescheduling Tool (DART) is a transportation scheduling system that reacts quickly to changes in machine and staff availability or job priorities. The schedules produced by DART are easily modified with the minimum of disruption and are easily understood by users.

Both DART and a system for long-term and short-term planning called CREWS were designed as white box systems: users can perceive what is going on; can interact with the system proposing alternatives or querying decisions; and can adapt the system's behaviour to changing circumstances. The result is a system that plays the role of a digital colleague interacting with users to build or change schedules in a cooperative way. Information on the status of the schedule is received and processed in real time. Updated information on the current situation is displayed graphically, highlighting the existing problems. The system acts as a decision-support tool, providing recommendations to operation controllers about solutions to current problems and ones that are likely to arise in the future. DART and CREWS both employ artificial intelligence techniques, and have three modes of operation. In manual mode, the user inputs the desired actions and the system computes the consequences, showing the rules that cannot be violated. In semi-automatic mode, the system shows the possible actions available to solve a problem and lets the user choose the most appropriate action. In automatic mode, the system itself analyses the options and proposes the best solution.


João Pavão MARTINS
Tél.: +351-1-7975374
Fax: +351-1-7936472