A Multi-Objective, Decomposition-Based Algorithm Design Methodology and its Application to Runway Operations Planning
Author(s)Anagnostakis, Ioannis; Clarke, John-Paul
Significant delays and resulting environmental impacts are commonly observed during departure operations at major US and European airports. One approach for mitigating airport congestion and delays is to exercise tactical operations planning and control with an objective to improve the efficiency of surface and terminal area operations. As a subtask of planning airport surface operations, this thesis presents a thorough study of the structure and properties of the Runway Operations Planning (ROP) problem. Runway Operations Planning is a workload-intensive task for controllers because airport operations involve many parameters, such as departure demand level and timing that are typically characterized by a highly dynamic behavior. This research work provides insight to the nature of this task, by analyzing the different parameters involved in it and illuminating how they interact with each other and how they affect the main functions in the problem of planning operations at the runway, such as departure runway throughput and runway queuing delays. Analysis of the Runway Operations Planning problem revealed that there is a parameter of the problem, namely the demand “weight class mix”, which: a) is more “dominant” on the problem performance functions that other parameters, b) changes value much slower than other parameters and c) its value is available earlier and with more certainty than the value of other parameters. These observations enabled the parsing of the set of functions and the set of parameters in subsets, so that the problem can be addressed sequentially in more than one stage where different parameter subsets are treated in different stages. Thus, a decompositionbased algorithm design technique was introduced and applied to the design of a heuristic decomposed algorithm for solving the ROP problem. This decomposition methodology offers an original paradigm potentially applicable to the design of solution algorithms for a class of problems with functions and parameters that, similar to those of the ROP problem, can be parsed in subsets. The potential merit in decomposing the ROP problem in two stages and the resulting utility of the two-stage solution algorithm are evaluated by performing benefits analysis across specific dimensions related to airport efficiency, as well as stability and robustness analysis of the algorithm output.
Air transportation, Runway Operations