Preference-Based Multi-Objective Optimization for Synchromodal Transport Using Adaptive Large Neighborhood Search

Yimeng Zhang*, Bilge Atasoy, Rudy R. Negenborn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Decision-makers in synchromodal transport (ST) have different preferences toward different objectives, such as cost, time, and emissions. To solve the conflicts among objectives and obtain preferred solutions, a preference-based multi-objective optimization model is developed. In ST, containers need to be transferred across modes, therefore the optimization problem is formulated as a pickup and delivery problem with transshipment. The preferences of decision-makers are usually expressed in linguistic terms, so weight intervals, that is, minimum and maximum weights, are assigned to objectives to represent such vague preferences. An adaptive large neighborhood search is developed and used to obtain non-dominated solutions to construct the Pareto frontier. Moreover, synchronization is an important feature of ST and it makes available resources fully utilized. Therefore, four synchronization cases are identified and studied to make outgoing vehicles cooperate with changes of incoming vehicles’ schedules at transshipment terminals. Case studies in the Rhine-Alpine corridor are designed and the results show that the proposed approach provides non-dominated solutions which are in line with preferences. Moreover, the mode share under different preferences is analyzed, which signals that different sustainability policies in transportation will influence the mode share.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Container
  • Freight systems
  • Intermodal freight transport
  • Logistic
  • Multimodal
  • Optimization
  • Planning and logistics


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