A.N. Tarau, B. De Schutter, and J. Hellendoorn, "Predictive route control for automated baggage handling systems using mixed-integer linear programming," Transportation Research Part C, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 424-439, June 2011.
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, 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. To assess the performance of the proposed (nonlinear and MILP) formulations of the MPC optimization problem, we consider a benchmark case study, the results being compared for several scenarios.