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Cane railway scheduling via constraint logic programming : labelling order and constraints in a real-life application
In Australia, cane transport is the largest unit cost in the manufacturing of raw sugar, making up around 35% of the total manufacturing costs. Producing efficient schedules for the cane railways can result in significant cost savings. This paper presents a study using Constraint Logic Programming (CLP) to solve the cane transport scheduling problem. Tailored heuristic labelling order and constraints strategies are proposed and encouraging results of application to several test problems and one real-life case are presented. The preliminary results demonstrate that CLP can be used as an effective tool for solving the cane transport scheduling problem, with a potential decrease in development costs of the scheduling system. It can also be used as an efficient tool for rescheduling tasks which the existing cane transport scheduling system cannot perform well.