10. Fast Approaches to Robust Railway Timetabling

Authors Matteo Fischetti, Arrigo Zanette, Domenico Salvagnin

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Matteo Fischetti
Arrigo Zanette
Domenico Salvagnin

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Matteo Fischetti, Arrigo Zanette, and Domenico Salvagnin. 10. Fast Approaches to Robust Railway Timetabling. In 7th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modeling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS'07). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 7, pp. 142-157, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


The Train Timetabling Problem (TTP) consists in finding a train schedule on a railway network that satisfies some operational constraints and maximizes some profit function which counts for the effciency of the infrastructure usage. In practical cases, however, the maximization of the objective function is not enough and one calls for a robust solution that is capable of absorbing as much as possible delays/disturbances on the network. In this paper we propose and analyze computationally four different methods to find robust TTP solutions for the aperiodic (non cyclic) case, that combine Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) and ad-hoc Stochastic Programming/Robust Optimization techniques. We compare computationally the effectiveness and practical applicability of the four techniques under investigation on real-world test cases from the Italian railway company (Trenitalia). The outcome is that two of the proposed techniques are very fast and provide robust solutions of comparable quality with respect to the standard (but very time consuming) Stochastic Programming approach.
  • Train timetabling
  • Robust Optimization
  • Stochastic Programming
  • Computational Experiments


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