Scheduling a Dynamic Aircraft Repair Shop with Limited Repair Resources

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

We address a dynamic repair shop scheduling problem in the context of military aircraft fleet management where the goal is to maintain a full complement of aircraft over the long-term. A number of flights, each with a requirement for a specific number and type of aircraft, are already scheduled over a long horizon. We need to assign aircraft to flights and schedule repair activities while considering the flights requirements, repair capacity, and aircraft failures. The number of aircraft awaiting repair dynamically changes over time due to failures and it is therefore necessary to rebuild the repair schedule online. To solve the problem, we view the dynamic repair shop as successive static repair scheduling sub-problems over shorter time periods. We propose a complete approach based on the logic-based Benders decomposition to solve the static sub-problems, and design different rescheduling policies to schedule the dynamic repair shop. Computational experiments demonstrate that the Benders model is able to find and prove optimal solutions on average four times faster than a mixed integer programming model. The rescheduling approach having both aspects of scheduling over a longer horizon and quickly adjusting the schedule increases aircraft available in the long term by 10% compared to the approaches having either one of the aspects alone.

ShinMaywa and Mahindra to set up amphibious aircraft repair base in India

The Japan Times

NEW DELHI – Aircraft and industrial equipment maker ShinMaywa Industries Ltd. of Japan and Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate Mahindra Group recently agreed to an amphibious aircraft maintenance and repair services tie-up in India. They will also join up on manufacturing and assembling parts and components for ShinMaywa-made U.S.-2 amphibious aircraft. The two nations are discussing how to meet the Indian Navy's requirements with an eye to introducing the aircraft in the South Asian country, according to their joint statement. ShinMaywa and Mahindra Defense signed a memorandum of understanding for the partnership on the sidelines of the Defexpo India 2018 -- a four-day defense exhibition through Saturday in Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The agreement also envisages a strategic partnership for future versions of the aircraft, which is considered effective for carrying out humanitarian relief, disaster management and surveillance missions, among others, the companies said.

Scheduling an Aircraft Repair Shop

AAAI Conferences

We address a scheduling problem in the context of military aircraft maintenance where the goal is to meet the aircraft requirements for a number of missions in the presence of breakdowns. The assignment of aircraft to a mission must consider the requirements for the mission, the probability of aircraft failure, and capacity of the repair shop that maintains the aircraft. Therefore, a solution both assigns aircraft to missions and schedules the repair shop to meet the assignments. We propose a dispatching heuristic algorithm; three complete approaches based on mixed integer programming, constraint programming, and logic-based Benders decomposition; and a hybrid heuristic-complete approach. Experiments demonstrate that the logic-based Benders variation combining mixed integer programming and constraint programming outperforms the other approaches, that the dispatching heuristic can feasibly schedule the repair shop in a very short time, and that using the dispatching solution as a bound marginally improves the complete approaches.

Minimizing conflicts: a heuristic repair method for constraint satisfaction and scheduling problems - ScienceDirect

AITopics Original Links

The paper describes a simple heuristic approach to solving large-scale constraint satisfaction and scheduling problems. In this approach one starts with an inconsistent assignment for a set of variables and searches through the space of possible repairs. The search can be guided by a value-ordering heuristic, the min-conflicts heuristic, that attempts to minimize the number of constraint violations after each step. The heuristic can be used with a variety of different search strategies. We demonstrate empirically that on the n-queens problem, a technique based on this approach performs orders of magnitude better than traditional backtracking techniques.