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Timetabling of Rail Commuter Services using Constraint Logic Programming

Author : Trivedi H.S.

Pages : 81-83
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Commuter railway services in cities such as Mumbai are characterized by a large number of services admitting short headways of a few minutes between successive services on the same track. So the timetabling of commuter services in railway operations has certain unique features that make it a very challenging task. This paper aims to demonstrate the viable use of constraint logic programming (CLP), to generate reasonable timetables under a very general framework of constraining conditions. CLP is a powerful programming paradigm which combines the ease of specification and modeling of logical relationships provided by PROLOG, with the general framework of constrained systems specified by linear inequalities. Traditionally, transportation planners have sought to consider the use of timetabling as an optimization problem, with the aim of finding the “Best” possible timetable, under a set of operating and other constraints. The criterion of “Best” would typically be the maximization of number of services offered, or maximizing the utilization of coaches or minimizing the number of coaches required to operate a certain fixed number of services, etc. This leads to the formulation of complex optimization problems, which are extremely difficult to solve.

Keywords: Constraint Logic Programming, PROLOG, Rail Scheduling, Mumbai

Article published in International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.6, No.1 (Feb-2016)


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