Railway Track Allocation by Rapid Branching

Authors Ralf Borndörfer, Thomas Schlechte, Steffen Weider

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Ralf Borndörfer
Thomas Schlechte
Steffen Weider

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Ralf Borndörfer, Thomas Schlechte, and Steffen Weider. Railway Track Allocation by Rapid Branching. In 10th Workshop on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS'10). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 14, pp. 13-23, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)


The track allocation problem, also known as train routing problem or train timetabling problem, is to find a conflict-free set of train routes of maximum value in a railway network. Although it can be modeled as a standard path packing problem, instances of sizes relevant for real-world railway applications could not be solved up to now. We propose a rapid branching column generation approach that integrates the solution of the LP relaxation of a path coupling formulation of the problem with a special rounding heuristic. The approach is based on and exploits special properties of the bundle method for the approximate solution of convex piecewise linear functions. Computational results for difficult instances of the benchmark library TTPLIB are reported.
  • track allocation problem
  • integer programming
  • rapid branching heuristic
  • proximal bundle method


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