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tanker sheduling problem excercise

Hello i've got a work to do in my university ... heres the excercise

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from book: Ravindra K. Ahuja, Thomas L. Magnanti, James B. Orlin. Network Flows. Theory, Algorithms, and applications page 190-191

Application 6.6 Tanker Scheduling Problem

A steamship company has contracted to deliver perishable goods between several different origin-destination pairs. Since the cargo is perishable, the customers have specified precise dates (i.e., delivery dates) when the shipments must reach their destinations. (The cargoes may not arrive early or late.) The steamship company wants to determine the minimum number of ships needed to meet the delivery dates of the shiploads.

To illustrate a modeling approach for this problem, we consider an example with four shipments; each shipment is a full shipload with the characteristics shown in Figure 6.8(a). For example, as specified by the first row in this figure, the company must deliver one shipload available at port A and destined for port C on day 3. Figure 6.8(b) and (c) show the transit times for the shipments (including allowances for loading and unloading the ships) and the return times (without a cargo) between the ports.

Figure 6.8 Data for the tanker scheduling problem: (a) shipment characteristics; (b) shipment transit times; (c) return times.

We solve this problem by constructing a network shown in Figure 6.9(a). This network contains a node for each shipment and an arc from node / to node j if it is possible to deliver shipment j after completing shipment /; that is, the start time of shipment j is no earlier than the delivery time of shipment i plus the travel time from the destination of shipment ;' to the origin of shipment j. A directed path in this network corresponds to a feasible sequence of shipment pickups and deliveries. The tanker scheduling problem requires that we identify the minimum number of directed paths that will contain each node in the network on exactly one path.

We can transform this problem to the framework of the maximum flow problem as follows. We split each node i into two nodes V and i" and add the arc («', i"). We set the lower bound on each arc (/', i"), called the shipment arc, equal to 1 so that at least one unit of flow passes through this arc. We also add a source node s and connect it to the origin of each shipment (to represent putting a ship into service),

176 Maximum Flows: Basic Ideas Chap. 6

Figure 6.9 Network formulation of the tanker scheduling problem: (a) network of feasible sequences of two consecutive shipments; (b) maximum flow model.

and we add a sink node t and connect each destination node to it (to represent taking a ship out of service). We set the capacity of each arc in the network to value 1. Figure 6.9(b) shows the resulting network for our example. In this network, each directed path from the source s to the sink t corresponds to a feasible schedule for a single ship. As a result, a feasible flow of value v in this network decomposes into schedules of v ships and our problem reduces to identifying a feasible flow of min¬imum value. We note that the zero flow is not feasible because shipment arcs have unit lower bounds. We can solve this problem, which is known as the minimum value problem, using any maximum flow algorithm (see Exercise [url removed, login to view]).

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