Experts working for railway operators still have to devote much time and effort to creating plans for rolling stock allocation. In this paper, we formulate the railway rolling stock allocation problem as a set partitioning multi-commodity flow (SPMCF) problem and we propose a search-based heuristic approach for SPMCF. We show that our approach can obtain an approximate solution near the optimum in shorter time than CPLEX for real-life problems. Since our approach deals with a wide variety of constraint expressions, it would be applicable for developing practical plans automatically for many railway operators.
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