Cooperative double-layer genetic programming hyper-heuristic for online container terminal truck dispatching

Xinan Chen, Ruibin Bai, Rong Qu, Haibo Dong

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In a marine container terminal, truck dispatching is a crucial problem that impacts on the operation efficiency of the whole port. Traditionally, this problem is formulated as an offline optimisation problem, whose solutions are, however, impractical for most real-world scenarios primarily because of the uncertainties of dynamic events in both yard operations and seaside loading–unloading operations. These solutions are either unattractive or infeasible to execute. Herein, for more intelligent handling of these uncertainties and dynamics, a novel cooperative double-layer genetic programming hyper-heuristic (CD-GPHH) is proposed to tackle this challenging online optimisation problem. In this new CD-GPHH, a novel scenario genetic programming (GP) approach is added on top of a traditional GP method that chooses among different GP heuristics for different scenarios to facilitate optimised truck dispatching. In contrast to traditional arithmetic GP (AGP) and GP with logic operators (LGP) which only evolve on one population, our CD-GPHH method separates the scenario and the calculation into two populations, which improved the quality of solutions in multi-scenario problems while reducing the search space. Experimental results show that our CD-GPHH dominates AGP and LGP in solving a multi-scenario function fitting problem as well as a truck dispatching problem in container terminal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1220-1234
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2022


  • container port
  • Containers
  • cooperative algorithm
  • Dispatching
  • genetic programming
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • hyper-heuristic
  • online truck dispatching
  • Optimization
  • Seaports
  • Task analysis
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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