Railway timetabling is an important process in train service provision as it matches the transportation demand with the infrastructure capacity while customer satisfaction is also considered. It is a multi-objective optimisation problem, in which a feasible solution, rather than the optimal one, is usually taken in practice because of the time constraint. The quality of services may suffer as a result. In a railway open market, timetabling usually involves rounds of negotiations amongst a number of self-interested and independent stakeholders and hence additional objectives and constraints are imposed on the timetabling problem. While the requirements of all stakeholders are taken into consideration simultaneously, the computation demand is inevitably immense. Intelligent solution-searching techniques provide a possible solution. This paper attempts to employ a particle swarm optimisation (PSO) approach to devise a railway timetable in an open market. The suitability and performance of PSO are studied on a multi-agent-based railway open-market negotiation simulation platform.
Ho, T. K., Tsang, C. W., Ip, K. H. & Kwan, K. S. (2012). Train service timetabling in railway open markets by particle swarm optimisation. Expert Systems with Applications, 39 (1), 861-868.