Principles of combinatorial optimization applied to container-ship stowage planning

I. D. Wilson*, P. A. Roach

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, a methodology for generating automated solutions to the container stowage problem is shown. The methodology was derived by applying principles of combinatorial optimization and, in particular, the Tabu Search metaheuristic. The methodology progressively refines the placement of containers, using the Tabu search concept of neighbourhoods, within the cargo-space of a container ship until each container is specifically allocated to a stowage location. Heuristic rules are built into objective functions for each stage that enable the combinatorial tree to be explored in an intelligent way, resulting in good, if not optimal, solutions for the problem in a reasonable processing time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)403-418
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Heuristics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999


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