In logistics applications such as our Royal Mail collaboration, a planned schedule is made in advance. But suppose something disruptive happens and we need to adapt quickly. How can we make rescheduling efficient?
Our solution, which we describe in two papers led by former postdoctoral associate Dr Dimitrios Letsios (Letsios et al., 2021a, 2021b), is to, in the planing phase, carefully develop a schedule with special mathematical structure. Then, when the uncertainty is realized and the disturbances happen, we can better recover in the rescheduling phase.
In addition to the academic papers and the rewarding Royal Mail collaboration, this project also resulted in recognition for former MSc student Natasha Page (see Imperial news article here).