A Study on Travel Time Stochasticity in Service Network Design with Quality Targets

  • Giacomo LanzaEmail author
  • Teodor Gabriel Crainic
  • Walter Rei
  • Nicoletta Ricciardi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11184)


The scope of this paper is to advance the investigation into the importance of introducing uncertainty in service network design (SND) formulations by examining the uncertainty of travel times, a phenomenon that has been little studied up to now. The topic of our research thus is the stochastic scheduled service network design problem with service-quality targets and uncertainty on travel times, an important problem raising in the tactical planning process of consolidation-based freight carriers. Quality-service targets relate to the on-time operation of services and delivery of commodity flows to destinations. The problem is formulated as a two-stage mixed-integer linear stochastic model defined over a space-time network, with service targets modelled through penalties. Its aim is to define a cost-efficient transportation plan such that the chosen quality-service targets are respected as much as possible over time. An extensive experimental campaign is proposed using a large set of random generated instances with the scope of enhancing the understanding of the relations between the characteristics of a service network and its robustness, in terms of respect of the service schedule and delivery due dates, given business-as-usual fluctuations of travel times. Several analyses are reported identifying the features that appear in stochastic solutions to hedge against or, at least, reduce the bad effects of travel time uncertainty on the performance of a service network.


Stochastic service network design Stochastic travel time Quality targets 


  1. 1.
    Assad, A.A.: Models for rail transportation. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 14, 205–220 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chapman, D.G.: Estimating the parameters of a truncated gamma distribution. Ann. Math. Stat. 27, 498–506 (1956)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Christiansen, M., Fagerholt, K., Ronen, D.: Ship routing and scheduling: status and perspectives. Transp. Sci. 38(1), 1–18 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cordeau, J.F., Toth, P., Vigo, D.: A survey of optimization models for train routing and scheduling. Transp. Sci. 32(4), 380–404 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Crainic, T.G., Hewitt, M., Toulouse, M., Vu, D.M.: Service network design with resource constraints. Transp. Sci. 50(4), 1380–1393 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Crainic, T.G.: Rail tactical planning: issues, models and tools. In: Bianco, L., Bella, A.L. (eds.) Freight Transport Planning and Logistics, pp. 463–509. Springer, Heidelberg (1988). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Crainic, T.G.: Network design in freight transportation. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 122(2), 272–288 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Crainic, T.G.: Long-haul freight transportation. In: Hall, R.W. (ed.) Handbook of Transportation Science, 2nd edn., pp. 451–516. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Crainic, T.G., Kim, K.H.: Intermodal transportation. In: Barnhart, C., Laporte, G. (eds.) Transportation, Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science, Chap. 8, vol. 14, pp. 467–537. North-Holland, Amsterdam (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Crainic, T.G., Roy, J.: O.R. tools for tactical freight transportation planning. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 33(3), 290–297 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kali, P., Wallace, S.W.: Stochastic Programming. Springer, Heidelberg (1994). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lanza, G., Crainic, T.G., Rei, W., Ricciardi, N.: Service network design problem with quality targets and stochastic travel times. CIRRELT-2017-71 (2017)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lium, A.G., Crainic, T.G., Wallace, S.W.: A study of demand stochasticity in service network design. Transp. Sci. 43(2), 144–157 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giacomo Lanza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Teodor Gabriel Crainic
    • 2
    • 3
  • Walter Rei
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nicoletta Ricciardi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Statistical SciencesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT)MontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Management and TechnologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations