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Railway junction traffic control by heuristic methods

Railway junction traffic control by heuristic methods

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Traffic conflicts at railway junctions are very common, particularly on congested rail lines. While safe passage through the junction is well maintained by the signalling and interlocking systems, minimising the delays imposed on the trains by assigning the right-of-way sequence sensibly is a bonus to the quality of service. A deterministic method has been adopted to resolve the conflict, with the objective of minimising the total weighted delay. However, the computational demand remains significant. The applications of different heuristic methods to tackle this problem are reviewed and explored, elaborating their feasibility in various aspects and comparing their relative merits for further studies. As most heuristic methods do not guarantee a global optimum, this study focuses on the trade-off between computation time and optimality of the resolution.

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