Logistics and transport are among the most important services for any industry or society. Without them, the economy would simply break down or fall back to pre-industrial levels. However, they also turn oil (which is getting less) into pollution. Using optimization algorithms for logistic planning means to find ways to transport goods or people in an efficient way. Depending on the problem, efficient could mean to travel short distances, use few vehicles and less manpower, or to be otherwise cheap. This often equates to being environmentally friendlier. Research on this domain therefore is highly relevant and we want to contribute to it. But logistics is not limited to vehicles driving outside. It may also concern tasks as diverse as the routing of vehicles inside of automated warehouses or factory floors, the routing of work pieces on assembly lines, and even finding the optimal sequence to drill a given set of holes into and place a certain set of components onto a circuit board.

This research direction can be considered as a complement of our work on operations research, together with which we aim to provide a set of tools of optimal control and management of highly-automated manufacturing and delivery processes for an intelligent, automated, and green industry as promoted by concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 [中国制造2025].

Our researchers have made significant contributions to several theoretical and practical logistics problems, including

  • the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP)
  • the Capacitated Arc Routing Problem (CARP)
  • the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW)
  • real-world problems such as the one in the in.west project, involving intermodal transportation with different vehicles, trains, time windows, different capacity limits, etc. in the domain of swap-body based transportation in a nation-scale by a commercial logistics company

1. Projects

  • the TSP Suite, a framework for investigating the performance of solvers for the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP), with a fast collection of state-of-the-art TSP solvers implemented in Java
  • in.west was a multidisciplinary combination of different technologies to provide improved control of swap trailers and a more efficient scheduling of intermodal transport routes. It was developed at the Micromata GmbH. Prof. Dr. Weise provided external consultation services supporting the development of the optimization component (based on Evolutionary Algorithms) used the in.west project, which also led to a set of high-quality scientific publications. [german pdf 1] [german pdf 2]

2. Publications

  • Weichen Liu, Thomas Weise, Yuezhong Wu, and Qi Qi. Combining Two Local Searches with Crossover: An Efficient Hybrid Algorithm for the Traveling Salesman Problem. In Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO'17), July 15-19, 2017, Berlin, Germany, New York, NY, USA: ACM Press, pages 298-305, ISBN: 978-1-4503-4920-8.
    doi:10.1145/3071178.3071201 / paper / slides

  • Thomas Weise, Yuezhong Wu, Raymond Chiong, Ke Tang, and Jörg Lässig. Global versus Local Search: The Impact of Population Sizes on Evolutionary Algorithm Performance. Journal of Global Optimization 66(3):511-534, November 2016.
    doi:10.1007/s10898-016-0417-5 / pdf

  • Yuezhong Wu, Thomas Weise, and Weichen Liu. Hybridizing Different Local Search Algorithms with Each Other and Evolutionary Computation: Better Performance on the Traveling Salesman Problem. In Proceedings of the 18th Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO'16), Denver, Colorado, USA, July 20–24, 2016, pages 57-58, New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). ISBN: 978-1-4503-4323-7
    doi:10.1145/2908961.2909001 / pdf / poster

  • Weichen Liu, Thomas Weise, Yuezhong Wu, Dan Xu, and Raymond Chiong. Hybrid Ejection Chain Methods for the Traveling Salesman Problem. Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience 13(6):3601-3610, June 2016
    doi:10.1166/jctn.2016.5189

  • Wei Shi, Thomas Weise, Raymond Chiong, and Bülent Çatay. Hybrid PACO with Enhanced Pheromone Initialization for Solving the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows. In Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Production and Logistics Systems (CIPLS'15) Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI'15), Cape Town, South Africa: Cape Town International Convention Center, December 8-10, 2015, pages 1735-1742. Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press. ISBN: 978-1-4799-7560-0
    doi:10.1109/SSCI.2015.242 / pdf / slides

  • Weichen Liu, Thomas Weise, Yuezhong Wu, and Raymond Chiong. Hybrid Ejection Chain Methods for the Traveling Salesman Problem. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Bio-Inspired Computing – Theories and Applications (BIC-TA'15), Maoguo Gong, Linqiang Pan, Tao Song, Ke Tang, and Xingyi Zhang, editors, September 25-28, 2015, Hefei, Anhui, China, volume 562 of Communications in Computer and Information Science. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pages 268-282, ISBN 978-3-662-49013-6.
    doi:10.1007/978-3-662-49014-3_25 / pdf

  • Dan Xu, Thomas Weise, Yuezhong Wu, Jörg Lässig, and Raymond Chiong. An Investigation of Hybrid Tabu Search for the Traveling Salesman Problem. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Bio-Inspired Computing – Theories and Applications (BIC-TA'15), Maoguo Gong, Linqiang Pan, Tao Song, Ke Tang, and Xingyi Zhang, editors, September 25-28, 2015, Hefei, Anhui, China, volume 562 of Communications in Computer and Information Science. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pages 523-537, ISBN 978-3-662-49013-6.
    doi:10.1007/978-3-662-49014-3_47 / pdf

  • Yuezhong Wu, Thomas Weise, and Raymond Chiong. Local Search for the Traveling Salesman Problem: A Comparative Study. In Proceedings of the 14th IEEE Conference on Cognitive Informatics & Cognitive Computing (ICCI*CC'15), July 6-8, 2015, Beijing, China, pages 213-220, Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press, ISBN: 978-1-4673-7289-3.
    doi:10.1109/ICCI-CC.2015.7259388 / pdf

  • Yan Jiang, Thomas Weise, Jörg Lässig, Raymond Chiong, and Rukshan Athauda. Comparing a Hybrid Branch and Bound Algorithm with Evolutionary Computation Methods, Local Search and their Hybrids on the TSP. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Production and Logistics Systems (CIPLS'14), Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI'14), Orlando, FL, USA: Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center, December 9-12, 2014, pages 148-155. Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press. ISBN 978-1-4799-5375-2.
    doi:10.1109/CIPLS.2014.7007174 / pdf

  • Thomas Weise, Raymond Chiong, Ke Tang, Jörg Lässig, Shigeyoshi Tsutsui, Wenxiang Chen, Zbigniew Michalewicz, and Xin Yao. Benchmarking Optimization Algorithms: An Open Source Framework for the Traveling Salesman Problem. IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (CIM), 9(3):40-52, August 2014.
    Featured article and selected paper at the website of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (http://cis.ieee.org/).
    doi:10.1109/MCI.2014.2326101 / pdf

  • Wei Shi and Thomas Weise. An Initialized ACO for the VRPTW. In Hujun Yin, Ke Tang, Yang Gao, Frank Klawonn, Minho Lee, Thomas Weise, Bin Li, and Xin Yao, editors, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning (IDEAL'13), volume 8206/2013 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), pages 93-100, Hefei, Anhui, China: Empark Grand Hotel, October 20-23, 2013. ISBN: 978-3-642-41277-6, Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag GmbH.
    doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41278-3_12 / pdf

  • Jin Ouyang, Thomas Weise, Alexandre Devert, and Raymond Chiong. SDGP: A Developmental Approach for Traveling Salesman Problems. In Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Production and Logistics Systems (CIPLS'13), Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI'13), pages 78-85, Singapore: Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, April 15-19, 2013. ISBN: 9781467359054, Los Alamitos, CA, USA: IEEE Computer Society Press.
    doi:10.1109/CIPLS.2013.6595203 / pdf / slides

  • Thomas Weise, Alexandre Devert, and Ke Tang. A Developmental Solution to (Dynamic) Capacitated Arc Routing Problems using Genetic Programming. In Terence Soule and Jason H. Moore, editors, Proceedings of the 14th Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO'12), July 7-11, 2012, Philadelphia, PA, USA: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City, pages 831-838. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). ISBN: 978-1-4503-1177-9
    doi:10.1145/2330163.2330278

  • Thomas Weise, Alexander Podlich, and Christian Gorldt. Solving Real-World Vehicle Routing Problems with Evolutionary Algorithms. In Raymond Chiong and Sandeep Dhakal, editors, Natural Intelligence for Scheduling, Planning and Packing Problems, volume 250 of Studies in Computational Intelligence, chapter 2, pages 29-53. ISBN: 978-3-642-04038-2, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, October 2009.
    doi:10.1007/978-3-642-04039-9_2 / pdf

  • Thomas Weise, Alexander Podlich, Manfred Menze, and Christian Gorldt. Optimierte Güterverkehrsplanung mit Evolutionären Algorithmen. Industrie Management – Zeitschrift für industrielle Geschäftsprozesse, 10(3):37-40, June 2009.

  • Thomas Weise, Alexander Podlich, Kai Reinhard, Christian Gorldt, and Kurt Geihs. Evolutionary Freight Transportation Planning. In Mario Giacobini, Penousal Machado, Anthony Brabazon, Jon McCormack, Stefano Cagnoni, Michael O'Neill, Gianni A. Di Caro, Ferrante Neri, Anikó Ekárt, Mike Preuß, Anna Isabel Esparcia-Alcázar, Franz Rothlauf, Muddassar Farooq, Ernesto Tarantino, Andreas Fink, and Shengxiang Yang, editors, Applications of Evolutionary Computing – Proceedings of EvoWorkshops 2009: EvoCOMNET, EvoENVIRONMENT, EvoFIN, EvoGAMES, EvoHOT, EvoIASP, EvoINTERACTION, EvoMUSART, EvoNUM, EvoSTOC, EvoTRANSLOG (EvoWorkshops'09), volume 5484/2009 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), pages 768-777, Tübingen, Germany: Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Fakultät für Informations- und Kognitionswissenschaften, April 15–17, 2009. ISBN: 978-3-642-01128-3, Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag GmbH.
    doi:10.1007/978-3-642-01129-0_87 / pdf / slides

  • Alexander Podlich, Thomas Weise, Manfred Menze, and Christian Gorldt. Intelligente Wechselbrückensteuerung für die Logistik von Morgen. Electronic Communications of the EASST, 17(205):1-11, Special Issue: Michael Wagner, Dieter Hogrefe, Kurt Geihs, and Klaus David, editors, “Kommunikation in Verteilten Systemen 2009”, KiVS'09, Proceedings, Workshops der Wissenschaftlichen Konferenz Kommunikation in Verteilten Systemen 2009 (WowKiVS 2009), Kassel, Hesse, Germany: University of Kassel, Fachbereich 16: Elektrotechnik/Informatik, March 6, 2009. Potsdam, Germany: European Association of Software Science and Technology (EASST; Universität Potsdam, Institute for Informatics).
    doi:10.14279/tuj.eceasst.17.205

3. Organized Events

  • Thomas Weise and Jörg Lässig. 1st SITA-UBRI Joint Workshop on Sustainable Logistics, November 5, 2015, Hefei, Anhui, China

  • Thomas Weise and Jörg Lässig. Special Session on Benchmarking and Testing for Production and Logistics Optimization of the 2014 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Production and Logistics at the 2014 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI 2014), December 9-12, 2014, Orlando, Florida, USA

  • Thomas Weise, Jörg Lässig, Alexandre Devert, and Yi Mei. Special Session on Scalable Evolutionary Logistic Planning (SELP) of the 2013 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Production and Logistics at the 2013 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI 2013), April 15-19, 2013, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore

4. Lectures and Courses