A heuristic approach for solving the corridor alignment problem

Kowei John Hou, Purdue University


A service corridor is defined as a continuous volume between two points in space through which service is provided. Corridor alignment refers to procedures for locating corridors in two or three dimensions, and is frequently an integral part of engineering design. Examples include the design of highway vertical and horizontal alignment, positioning and routing of subsurface tunnels, layout of power transmission facilities, and air transport routes. The quality of corridor alignment is frequently an important factor in determining the overall success of civil engineering projects. A well designed corridor provides positive results such as increased levels of service, improved accessibility of service, and reduced costs. A poorly designed corridor may lead to negative environmental impacts, poor level of service, and sometimes life-threatening danger. Ironically, little systematic attention has been directed to the development of algorithms for designing efficient service corridors. Factors involved in corridor alignment development are so complex that their influences are not easily identified until a corridor is actually chosen. Therefore, while there are guidelines and tools for corridor design, decision making is still mainly limited to human judgement and experience. The purpose of this research is to design a systematic methodology to obtain optimal or near-optimal solutions to the corridor alignment problem. A mixed integer formulation is proposed to describe the problem. Because of its computational complexity, a heuristic tabu search algorithm is used for solving the problem. Theoretical bounds and conceptual insights are determined using the Lagrangian relaxation method. A Lagrangian heuristic is also developed for this problem. The performances of the proposed tabu search and Lagrangian heuristics are compared to those of existing methods using a series of computational experiments.




Wright, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Transportation|Urban planning|Area planning & development|Civil engineering

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