Optimal Dredge Fleet Scheduling within Environmental Work Windows

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) annually dredges hundreds of navigation projects through its fleet of government dredges and individual contracts with private industry. The research presented here seeks to examine the decision of allocating dredge resources to projects system-wide under necessary constraints including environmental restrictions concerning when dredging can take place due to migration patterns of turtles, birds, fish, and other wildlife, dredge equipment resource availability, and varying equipment productivity rates that affect project completion times. Building on previous research with USACE, this project is specifically motivated by the need to apply recently developed scheduling optimization tools to provide comprehensive sensitivity analysis regarding the impact of varying dredge job sizes, available dredge equipment and the size of environmental windows. Beyond sensitivity analysis, this project will expand the previously developed optimization tools to allow for multiple dredge resources to work on a single job, environmental windows to be dredge specific and environmental windows to serve as soft constraints. Finally, while previous work has assumed that the demand for dredging, availability of dredge equipment and length of environmental windows are known with certainty, this research will explore how dredge planning is impacted when these factors are treated as stochastic components. The goal of this research is to offer a robust decision tool that can be used by USACE to determine the appropriate dredge fleet and the optimal operations associated with that fleet for a given set of jobs. UPDATE: The beta version of the tool was used in the decision-making process for west coast dredge fleet scheduling at a meeting in Portland, OR in July 2015. The next phase of this research looks to enhance the capabilities of these tools to allow for large-scale planning to take place at a USACE system level. In addition, while work to this point has assumed that the demand for dredging, availability of dredge equipment and length of environmental windows are known with certainty, this research will explore how dredge planning is impacted when these factors are treated as stochastic components. The goal of this research is to offer a robust decision tool that can be used by USACE to determine the appropriate dredge fleet and the optimal operations associated with that fleet for a given set of jobs.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The beta version of the tool was used in the decision-making process for west coast dredge fleet scheduling at a meeting in Portland, OR in July 2015. Added secondary objective function to decision tool that allows user to consider maximizing cubic yards dredged and minimizing equipment travel time simultaneously. New module was incorporated into optimization tool and installed on UASACE servers in spring 2016. First dredge scheduling meeting with updated tool was held with Vicksburg, MS administrators to brief leadership on the tools capabilities for upcoming planning cycles.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $227078.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    DTRT13-G-UTC50

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

    Department of Industrial Engineering
    Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

    Department of Industrial Engineering
    Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
  • Principal Investigators:

    Nachtmann, Heather

    Rainwater, Chase

  • Start Date: 20140801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20160815
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160815
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37074

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01573279
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC50
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 21 2015 1:00AM