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Modelling, simulation and optimisation of port system management

Dahal, K. and Galloway, S.J. and Burt, G.M. and McDonald, J.R. and Hopkins, I. (2007) Modelling, simulation and optimisation of port system management. International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2 (1). pp. 92-108. ISSN 1741-9174

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The effective management of port systems forms a significant economic and operational challenge for the port operators. Essentially, these ports receive, store, process and dispatch a variety of bulk commodities. This paper details the modelling, simulation and optimisation of port operations such that an effective operational management is obtained. This has to be achieved through a reduction in financial costs and improving utilisation of the equipment. Through the explicit characterisation of port components, a tool was developed that permits the construction of port simulation models. A Genetic Algorithm-based approach has been integrated with the port system model to optimise the operation of the port. Two case studies based on real world port systems are discussed. It is demonstrated that through the action of the GA on the port system model, the design and operation of the port can be significantly improved. And more than this, the architecture developed demonstrates a flexible and powerful mechanism for combining a process simulation tool with an optimisation capability.