On 17th April 2012 the West Midlands Branch of the IMA will hear ‘Routing Military Convoys’ by Andy Verity-Harrison. in Birmingham near New Street railway station. Non-members welcome, no charge is made. Abstract:
Current military operations emphasise the need for mobility more than ever. Thus, routing convoys so that they reach their correct destinations in the shortest time is important. However, the planning itself can be considerable and must be carried out quickly if operational tempo is to be maintained. With this in mind the military planning problem of simultaneously routing multiple convoys between multiple origin and destination locations was formulated as a combinatorial optimisation problem and used as a benchmark problem for investigating the applicability of a variety of optimisation methods to military decision making.
In this talk, I shall take you through the journey from initial formulation and the use of classical optimisation methods through the use of metaheuristic methods and the gained obtained by reformulation. Along the way I shall highlight the broader significance of observations made in tackling this problem and conclude by discussing the fragility of optimal solutions when implemented in the messy “real world”.