Research

Real-time Optimisation, Scheduling and Logistics

Real-time Optimisation Scheduling and Logistics

Intelligent automation technologies are critical for remote engineering projects. They route vehicles, control storage, schedule labour and resources, organise maintenance and respond to unforeseen events. 

Our research develops optimisation, scheduling and control solutions for the mining and offshore extraction sectors and associated operations, such as transport, energy supply and the servicing of remote communities. With a strong focus on real-time optimisation, we devise new ways for work plans and models to be rapidly adapted as needed. In addition to extensive technical expertise, the group has extensive experience in applied engineering, combinatorial mathematics, and in delivering practical reasoning and analytical tools across a range of commercial industrial operations.  


Problems that we solve

In the sphere of real-time optimisation, our aim is to go beyond what current applications and technology can deliver. On a theoretical level we apply novel combinations of automata, genetic algorithms, linear programming, model-checking and Markov decision processes to create practical reasoning and computational tools. For example, optimising truck despatch through new algorithms and software that are better integrated, with tools for the scheduling of trains, maintenance and other mine operations.

Our work addresses two characteristics associated with onshore and offshore remote operations:

  1. The need for efficient operations
  2. Automation of operational control and decision-making 

By applying the latest theoretical and applied techniques in optimisation, scheduling and control, our research tackles the following applications:

  • Haul truck despatch
  • Truck maintenance
  • Offshore oil and gas logistics
  • Dynamic rescheduling of mine backfilling 
  • Scheduling of infrastructure (construction and  maintenance)
  • Reactive rescheduling of road maintenance