Dr Prem Kumar Viswanathan

Analytic Center of Excellence, Symphony Marketing Solutions, Bangalore

September 28, 2009, 11:00GC B3 424

Multi-Objective Airport Gate Assignment for a Large Airline: Schedule Planning and Day of Operations

In this paper, we consider the gate assignment for a large airline at its hub airport. The problem is considered in both modes � planning as well as operations. The first objective in planning mode assigns airport gates dynamically to scheduled flights based on daily origin and destination passenger flow data ensuring that maximum connection revenue is realized. The second objective aims to schedule flights to gates in as few manpower zones as possible. This would help reduce the operating costs for the airline. The third objective ensures that gate rest, i.e. the gate idle time between an outgoing and the next incoming flight, is kept to the maximum possible so that extent of regating is minimized in the eventuality of successive flight delays. One of the major contributions of this paper is gate assignment in the operations mode to ac-count for real-time delays and disruptions to the planned schedule. This would entail making deviations to the existing assignment plan and retiming flights marginally in extreme situations when the existing gate infrastructure cannot handle all the flights. It is important that our solution technique is fast enough to produce this operational solution within a few seconds. We formulate these problems as mixed 0-1 integer program with a linear objective function and constraints. Due to the complexity in the problem size and formulation, we have resorted to relaxation for certain instances when a reasonable solution is not obtained within the time limit. Problem formulation for flight retiming in the operations mode has been borrowed from the concepts of resource constrained project scheduling. Implementation is done using OPL and computational results for actual data sets are presented.


Prem is a Doctorate in Business Management with specialization in Operations Research from a premier Busi-ness school in India - The Indian Institute of Management. During his doctoral research, he was awarded the prestigious John Curtin International Institute Fellowship and visited Curtin University of Technology (Austra-lia) as a research scholar, received a scholarship from the Danish Government to undergo a training program on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications. Following Doctorate, Prem worked at a University level research center with NUS Singapore and manages the off-shoring and outsourcing of research and analytical projects. Prem has also undertaken special lecture sessions on industrial applications of Operations Research at NUS (Singapore), Delhi University (India), Curtin Univer-sity of Technology (Australia), and several other business schools around India. Currently, he is teaching one course on �Business Analytics and Optimization� at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. His research interests include (but not limited to): 1. Airline schedule planning and application of search strategies to solve large scale optimization problems 2. Using combinatorial optimization and graph theoretic techniques to solve route net design for shipping liners 3. Supply chain planning and design problems for multiple items.