Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

PARACHUTE: flexible airline crew scheduling

PARACHUTE provides a high performance information technology (IT) solution for airline crew scheduling. The system can be used by medium and large airlines needing to process large volumes of information, yet is still appropriate for smaller organizations requiring the same degree of performance but with a smaller volume of data.

The PARACHUTE system has two major technical achievements: a parallel version of the constraint-solving engine known as ILOG SOLVER; and an airline crew rostering library holding the constraints or rules governing scheduling decisions. The parallel version of ILOG SOLVER, installed on a network of workstations, uses a search tree corresponding to the constraint problem. A technique known as constraint propagation is applied to reduce domains and to ensure local consistency. A search procedure is used to explore different alternatives for reducing the initial constraint problem to a simpler problem. The approach allows complex problems not suited to conventional calculation techniques to be handled efficiently. Combined with the flexibility in decision-making offered by the crew rostering library, this makes the PARACHUTE system adaptable integratable and scaleable. SECTION 2:

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