A.N. Tarau, B. De Schutter, and J. Hellendoorn, "Predictive control for baggage handling systems using mixed integer linear programming," Proceedings of the 5th IFAC International Conference on Management and Control of Production Logistics (MCPL 2010), Coimbra, Portugal, pp. 16-21, Sept. 2010.
State-of-the-art baggage handling systems transport luggage in an automated way using destination coded vehicles (DCVs). These vehicles transport the bags at high speeds on a network of tracks. In this paper we consider the problem of controlling the route of each DCV in the system. In general this results in a nonlinear, nonconvex, mixed integer optimization problem which is usually very expensive in terms of computational effort. Therefore, we present an alternative approach for reducing the complexity of the computations by simplifying and approximating the nonlinear optimization problem by a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem. The advantage is that for MILP problems solvers are available that allow us to efficiently compute the global optimal solution. The solution of the MILP problem can then be used as a good initial starting point for the original nonlinear optimization problem. We use model predictive control (MPC) for solving the route choice problem. We also assess the performance of the proposed (nonlinear and MILP) formulations of the MPC optimization problem using a benchmark case study.