San Jose Meeting

Downtown San Jose
The 2002 INFORMS National Meeting was held in San Jose, California, November 17-20, 2002. For more information, contact the cluster chair:

Natasha Lukiantseva
CSX Transportation
500 Water St. J300
Jacksonville, FL 32202 .

Click here for information about the full INFORMS conference. 


Roundtable -  "Railroads in their customers' supply chains" - Sunday 1:00 - 5:30

The RASIG Roundtable, was chaired by Michael F. Gorman, Ph.D., University of Dayton School of Business,

Click for Presentation Setting the Table: Supply Chain Applications in the Rail IndustryRASIG Roundtable Panel

Mike Gorman, University of Dayton

We give an overview of major railroads and suppliers to create a seamless shipping experience for rail shippers. The dimensions of "supply chain services" and the rail industry are bracketed.

Click for Presentation Rail-centric Supply Chain Services: Selling to our customers and ourselves

Dan Bingeman, Vice President  Supply Chain, Canadian National Railway

We discuss the shipping public's lack of understanding of shipping via rail, and the rail employee populations lack of understanding of the shipper's logistics problem. We talk about the reality of educational barriers that must be overcome in order to make rail-centric supply chain services a reality.

Click for Presentation Use of optimization in rail-centric supply chain consulting and services

Todd Olsen, Assistant Vice President, BNSF Supply Chain Solutions

BNSF Supply Chain Solutions has found the use of home-grown and commercial optimization techniques valuable for identifying opportunities, gaining credibility with clients, and ultimately in delivering Supply Chain Solutions to our clients. This talk will cover some of the tools we
have built and procured, and how they play into building BNSF's supply chain capabilities.

Click for Presentation CP/Tronicus experience with rail-provided supply chain services

Carl Young, President, Tronicus

Tronicus was created by Canadin Pacific to provide technology-rich third party supply chain services for shippers. We talk about how optimization technology has helped Tronicus deliver valuable services, and some of the successes and stumbling blocks from our experience.

Click for Presentation Intelligent supply chain control

Ed Dougherty, President, August Designs

The next generation supply chain management system will provide intelligent end-to-end visibility and control over multiple modes, multiple
commodities, and multiple customers. The talk will describe how a near optimum next generation supply chain solution is being created by loosely coupling point solutions and controlling them with a combination of expert systems and fuzzy logic.

Click for Presentation A prototype for a successful implementation of rail-based supply chain services

Michael Miller, Director, NS Modalgistics

We discuss how NS Modalgistics took a key customer from prospect, to consulting client, to full-blown implementation and execution. In particular, we talk about how service and technology come together to create a valuable product for a Norfolk Southern shipper.


Cluster Chair Natasha Lukiantseva Thanks Outgoing Charis Chip Kraft RASIG Business Meeting - Sunday 5:45 - 6:45



Improving the Operating Plan  - Sunday 10:00

Session Chair: Natasha Lukiantseva, CSX Transportation, Operations Research, Jacksonville, FL

Click for Presentation NS Zero-based operating plan presentation

Trent Sommers, Norfolk Southern Railroad, Network Optimization, Atlanta, GA.

Paper:  Industry Changing Gateway Optimization (CN/CXT, BN/CSXT)

Natasha Lukiantseva, CSX Transportation, Operations Research, Jacksonville, FL.

Gateway Optimization between Class One railroads is bringing the benefits of a merger without a merger, allowing railroads to improve their service to the customer on the interline traffic. cThe presentation will give an overview of several projects that were undertaken this and last year.

Scheduled Railroads

Carl Malazdrewich, Canadian National, Operations Research.

Joint Session with Transportation Science Section - Monday 8:00

Session Chair: Erick Wikum, Schneider National, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Click for Presentation Arc-based Formulations for Coordinated Drayage Operations

Christopher D Neuman, Karen Smilowitz, Northwestern University, Department of IE/MS, Evanston, IL

In the Chicago area, an estimated 25,000 containers are moved daily between customers and railheads. Each movement generates empty movements that do not generate revenue. We develop a mathematical programming formulation to coordinate all movements that yields solutions for small problems but scales poorly. We also introduce a scalable heuristic.

Modeling Truck-Rail Interaction at Intermodal Yards

Bhuwan Bhaskar Agrawal, Peng Duan, Athanasios Ziliaskopoulos, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

This presentation deals with modeling issues that lie in the interface between modes of intermodal freight operations, as well as interactions among stakeholders.  An important interaction is between truck and train, which happens in intermodal yards. The efficiency of yard operations is critical for the whole industry. This not only affects the commercial vehicle operators and the railroads, but also most of the other stakeholders in the freight industry. We discuss an effort to build a yard simulation model that will not only help in understanding the operations in the yard, but also in testing various scenarios and impacts of possible changes/improvements in the yard operations and commercial vehicle operator reactions. Emphasis will be given to data issues, modeling tools, validation and finally issues related to evaluating the impact of changes in the yard operations to improve the efficiency.

Rail car distribution under uncertainty using the separable, projective approximation routine (SPAR)

Huseyin Topaloglu, Warren B. Powell, Sanjay Melkote, Selcuk Avci. Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, Princeton University.

We have developed a method for allocating rail cars which takes forecasting uncertainties into account.  The method, which is an adaptation of the SPAR algorithm for two-stage stochastic resource allocation problems, handles multiple car types, provides integer solutions and easily scales to very large scale problems.  Numerical results are reported.

Click for Presentation Empty Repositioning Costs:  Who’s to Blame?

Erick Wikum, Ted Gifford, Jeff Day, Schneider National, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin

We consider how to allocate empty repositioning costs among the loads and lanes of a transportation network, a problem that can arise in pricing, profitability analysis, and operations.  We examine a variety of approaches based on standard accounting techniques, linear programming duality, and game theory.

Simulation Software/Models - Monday 10:00

Session Chair: Roger Baugher, Rail Sciences, Inc, Atlanta, GA, Session: Simulation Software & Models
Monday, 10 AM

Click for Presentation Burlington Northern Schedule Modeling in the '90's

Kalman Silverberg, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

The Burlington Northern Railroad attempted a redesign of it's service design process in the early 1990s.  The team developed approaches to the service design question, which are unique to the railroad industry.  The presenter will examine those approaches and their application to the operations research arena.

Charles Martin, CSX Transportation.

The presentation will discuss the next generation dispatching models. It outlines the background of the uses, limitations and future direction. The next generation dispatching models have evolved through the advancements in computer technology. With the improved capabilities of these tools come more complex questions, resulting in more increased demands on the user. In this presentation, we will utilize examples from two new dispatching models, RTC and RAILS 2000, to illustrate the process changes in simulations.

Eric Wilson, Berkeley Simulations.

The speaker will provide his observations about dispatching model features most demanded by the user community and the continuing challenges faced in creating and enhancing dispatching simulators.  His model is widely used in the U. S., and is key to the Chicago Terminal improvement project currently underway.

Student paper contest I - Monday 1:30

Session Chair: Chip Kraft,

Click for Presentation Solving Real-Life Locomotive Scheduling Problems

Jian Liu, University of Florida, Gaiinsville, FL

The locomotive scheduling problem is to assign locomotives with sufficient power to trains on a pre-planned train schedule. In this paper, we report the results of a study of the locomotive scheduling problem faced by CSX Transportation. We developed a solution technique that uses ideas from problem decomposition, linear programming, integer programming, and neighborhood search. Comparing our solution with that of in-house software developed by CSX showed that we obtained a savings of over 400 locomotives, which translates into a savings of over one hundred million dollars annually.

Click for Presentation Ant Colony Systems Applied to Switch Engine Assignment and Routing in a Railroad Yard

Jodelson Sabino, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria ES, Brazil

This paper explores the application of a multiple ant colony systems meta-heuristic method called COMPETants in railroad yard operations optimization. Some modifications are proposed to make the original algorithm more suitable for use in the railroad yard context. The problem proposed here can be classified as a Full Truckload Capacitated Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Windows and Capacity Constraints (PTPTWC) and we aim to attend a set of transportation requests with minimal cost.

Click for Presentation Shunting Passenger Train Units in a Railway Station

Richard Freling, Dennis Huisman, Leo G. Kroon, Ramon M. Lentink, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

In this paper we introduce the problem of shunting passenger train units in a railway station. Shunting occurs whenever train units are temporarily not necessary to operate a given timetable. We discuss several aspects of this problem and focus on two subproblems. We propose mathematical models for these subproblems together with a solution method based on column generation. Furthermore, a new efficient and speedy solution technique for pricing problems in column generation algorithms is introduced. Finally, we present computational results based on real life instances from Netherlands Railways.

Railroad Scheduling and Blocking - Tuesday 8:00

Session Chair: Pooja Dewan, Ph. D., Manager Operations Research, Technology Services, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Ravindra K. AhujaJian Liu, Dept. of Industrial & Systems Eng., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Dharma Acharya, CSX Transportation, 500 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL.
Blocking problem is one of the most important problems in railroad scheduling and is a very large-scale multi-commodity flow network design problem containing millions of fixed charge variables. We propose new approaches of solving this problem based on neighborhood search techniques, which are able to solve the problem very efficiently in practice. We expect major savings by the use of these approaches.

Click for Presentation Sequencing Classifications in FirstClassTM

Erika Yazid and David Friedman, MultiModal Applied Systems, Princeton, NJ.
The FirstClass project between CSX and MultiModal (called Algorithmic Class Tracking at CSX) involves two major algorithmic technologies: (1) the ability to rapidly sequence blocks, and (2) the ability to generate detailed classification tables. This talk focuses on the block sequencing, and explains the blocking network with its various artificial arcs, the shortest-path technology used, and our experiences with parallelization of the algorithm.

Tutorial: An Overview of Railroad Operations Research Challenges - Tuesday 10:00

Click for Presentation Session Chair: Chip Kraft, Reebie Associated, .

Click for Presentation Michael F. Gorman, University of Dayton, Dept. of Ops Mgmt, Dec. Sci, and MIS,  and

Click for Presentation Warren Powell, Princeton University, Dept of Operations Res and Fin Engg,.

This tutorial will provide a high-level overview of the state-of-the-practice versus state-of-the-art in railroad-related operations research. Students and other researchers who think they might have an interest in rail OR topics, are encouraged to attend. Sample applications include train dispatching, rail yard operations, service planning and network design, car scheduling, service monitoring and service recovery, revenue management, empty car distribution, locomotive distribution and crew management.

Amtrak Facilities Tour - Tuesday Afernoon

A walking tour of the Amtrak San Jose facilities.  Open to all RASIG attendees at no additional charge.   Details will be announced at the RASIG sessions.

Other Sessions of Interest

Revenue Management, Routing, and Pricing, Monday 1:30 pm
Applications of Network Optimization, Monday 4:30 pm
Public Transportation Systems, Monday 4:30 pm

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Updated 2 June 2003