From tactical planning ... to operational decision.

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By Xavier Lorca, senior lecturer in the IT department at Mines Nantes (INRIA teamTASC, LINA UMR CNRS 6241)

The planning of urban and inter-urban passenger transport is an important issue for today's industrialized societies. Through the need to optimize the costs of human and material resources, to respect social and environmental constraints, and meet the needs of users, it is at the heart of social and economic concerns of local authorities and transport operators. In addressing these issues the resolution of two central problems of optimization is essential : vehicle and duty scheduling. In the first case, you have to draw up a schedule for the vehicles (buses, trains, tramways, underground, etc.) on a route. In the second, you have to size the staff resources (drivers, escorts, etc.) needed to carry out the transport services proposed in the vehicle scheduling phase. The increasing demands from local communities, which transport networks have to deal with, means that they have to optimize increasingly complex problems.These requirements also mean increased sensitivity of the system to the vagaries in the production phase (traffic incidents, resource unavailability, breakdowns).


The purpose of the TransOp joint laboratory, funded until 2017 by the ANR, is to provide a formalism and resolution methods able to repair the tactical planning the same day. In other words forecasting models calculated a long time ahead, in order to size the necessary resources. This is in order to provide a tool for Decision Support capable of responding effectively to regulatory requirements, that is to say in the development and operational monitoring of staff schedules.

Pure and simply, we want to add a link to the chain to ensure continuity between the tactical models and the daily reality of the operators in charge of the design of operational schedules.


The professional expertise of the Eurodecision company and their LP-EasyDriver tool, combined with scientific expertise, in the field of Decision Support, the TASC team from Mines Nantes and their Choco tool, make a perfect consortium, with a view to proposing the transition of a tactical planning tool into an operational control tool. After the launch in January 2014, the TransOP laboratory has since secured the services of a partner of choice in Cosling, a young startUp from the Mines Nantes business incubater, run by two ex-students of the school,  Jean-Guillaume Fages and Tanguy Lapègue. This successful partnership makes it possible to approach with confidence the challenging question of technology transfer of  solutions provided by the TASC team for the LP-EasyDriver tool developed at Eurodecision.


The future of this laboratory will of course involve the capitalization of expertise on this issue in order to generalize the approach to other human resource or material resource planning issues in transportation (airline flight personnel, ground crew or security staff at airports to cite but one example of the airline industry).

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