CONTROLO 2016 pp 155-165 | Cite as

Efficient Operations at Intermodal Terminals Using a Multi-agent System

  • Tomás Hipólito
  • João Lemos NabaisEmail author
  • Miguel Ayala Botto
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 402)


Transport networks are large-scale complex systems whose objective is to deliver cargo at a specific time and at a specific location. Ports and intermodal container terminals behave as exchange hubs where containers are moved from a transport modality to a different one. Terminal operations management arise as a need to face the exponentially growth of the container traffic in the last few years. In this paper the Extended Formulation of the MPC is presented. This formulation accounts for the variation of the control action to reduce not only the amount of actions but to perform a wise and efficient use of handling resources. This formulation is based on the decomposition of the control action. The Extended Formulation is applied to a simulation case study based on a long-term scheduled scenario and compared with the Basic Formulation.


Model Predictive Control Basic Formulation Extended Formulation Intermodal container terminal Operations management 



This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), through IDMEC, under LAETA, project UID/EMS/50022/2013 and by the FCT, through IDMEC, under LAETA Pest-OE/EME/LA0022.


  1. 1.
    Stahlbock, Robert, Voss, Stefan: Operations research at container terminals: a literature update. OR Spectrum 30, 1–52 (2008)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alessandri, A., Sacone, S., Siri, S.: Management of intermodal container terminals using feedback control. In: Proceedings of The 7th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, pp. 882–887 (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Crainic, T.G., Kim, K.H.: Intermodal Transportation. Technol. Teach. 64, 15–18 (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gambardella, L.M., Mastrolilli, M., Rizzoli, A.E., Zaffalon, M.: An optimization methodology for intermodal terminal management. J. Intell. Manuf. 12, 5–6 (2001)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kozan, E., Preston, Peter: Genetic algorithms to schedule container transfers at multimodal terminals. Int. Trans. Oper. Res. 6, 311–329 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Legato, Pasquale, Mazza, Rina M.: Berth planning and resources optimisation at a container terminal via discrete event simulation. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 133, 537–547 (2001)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alessandri, Angelo, Cervellera, Cristiano, Cuneo, Marta, Gaggero, Mauro, Soncin, Giuseppe: Modeling and feedback control for resource allocation and performance analysis in container terminals. IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Syst. 9, 601–614 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alessandri, Angelo, Cervellera, Cristiano, Cuneo, Marta, Gaggero, Mauro, Soncin, Giuseppe: Management of logistics operations in intermodal terminals by using dynamic modelling and nonlinear programming. Marit. Econ. 11, 58–76 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nabais, J.L., Negenborn, R.R., Botto, M.A.: Hierarchical model predictive control for optimizing intermodal container terminal operations. IEEE Conf. Intell. Transp. Syst. Proc. 708–713 (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nabais, J.L., Negenborn, R.R., Botto, M.A.: A novel predictive control based framework for optimizing intermodal container terminal operations. In: 3rd International Conference on Computational Logistics, pp. 53–71 (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Negenborn, R.R.: Model predictive control for a sustainable transport modal split at intermodal container hubs (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Maciejowski, J.M.: Predictive Control with Constraints. Prentice Hall (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stewart, Brett T., Venkat, Aswin N., Rawlings, James B., Wright, Stephen J., Pannocchia, Gabriele: Cooperative distributed model predictive control. Syst. Control Lett. 59, 460–469 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Venkat, A.N., Hiskens, I.A., Rawlings, J.B., Wright, S.J.: Distributed MPC strategies with application to power system automatic generation control. IEEE Trans. Control Syst. Technol. 16, 1192–1206 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomás Hipólito
    • 1
  • João Lemos Nabais
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miguel Ayala Botto
    • 1
  1. 1.LAETAIDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.LAETA, School of Business AdministrationIDMEC, Polytechnical Institute of SetúbalSetúbalPortugal

Personalised recommendations