Solving Airline Crew Scheduling Problems by Branch-and-Cut
The crew scheduling problem is one that has been studied almost continually for the past 40 years but all prior approaches have always approximated the problem of finding an optimal schedule for even the smallest of an airline's fleets. The problem is especially important today since costs for flying personnel of major U.S. carriers have grown and now often exceed $1.3 billion a year and are the second largest item (next to fuel cost) of the total operating cost of major U.S. carriers. Thus even small percentage savings amount to substantial dollar amounts. We present a branch-and-cut approach to solving to proven optimality large set partitioning problems arising within the airline industry. We first provide some background related to this important application and then describe the approach for solving representative problems in this problem class. The branch-and-cut solver generates cutting planes based on the underlying structure of the polytope defined by the convex hull of the feasible integer points and incorporates these cuts into a tree-search algorithm that uses automatic reformulation procedures, heuristics and linear programming technology to assist in the solution. Numerical experiments are reported for a sample of 68 large-scale real-world crew scheduling problems. These problems include both pure set partitioning problems and set partitioning problems with side constraints. These "base constraints" represent contractual labor requirements and have heretofore not been represented explicitly in the construction of crew schedules thus making it impossible to provide any measure of how far the obtained solution was from optimality. An interesting result of obtaining less costly schedules is that the crews themselves are happier with the schedules because they spend more of their duty time flying than waiting on the ground.
Volume (Year): 39 (1993)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:39:y:1993:i:6:p:657-682. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.