05. Models for Railway Track Allocation

Authors Ralf Borndörfer, Thomas Schlechte

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Ralf Borndörfer
Thomas Schlechte

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Ralf Borndörfer and Thomas Schlechte. 05. Models for Railway Track Allocation. In 7th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modeling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS'07). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 7, pp. 62-78, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


The optimal track allocation problem (OPTRA) is to find, in a given railway network, a conflict free set of train routes of maximum value. We study two types of integer programming formulations for this problem: a standard formulation that models block conflicts in terms of packing constraints, and a novel formulation of the `extended' type that is based on additional `configuration' variables. The packing constraints in the standard formulation stem from an interval graph and can therefore be separated in polynomial time. It follows that the LP-relaxation of a strong version of this model, including all clique inequalities from block conflicts, can be solved in polynomial time. We prove that the LP-relaxation of the extended formulation can also be solved in polynomial time, and that it produces the same LP-bound. Albeit the two formulations are in this sense equivalent, the extended formulation has advantages from a computational point of view. It features a constant number of rows and is amenable to standard column generation techniques. Results of an empirical model comparison on mesoscopic data for the Hanover-Fulda-Kassel region of the German long distance railway network are reported.
  • Track allocation
  • train timetabling,integer programming
  • column generation


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