Berth location and pathway optimisation of port basins

Using generative design

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In the early project phase, decisions are made when considering a port basin berth layout that affects the outcome and the success of the project. In order to make a decision regarding the berth layout, port planners create a set of variants for comparison and assessment in order to pick the basin berth layout that suits the project goals the best. The selected basin berth layout is the preferred variant that will be used to eventually be realised. However, since the decision in the early project phase has a great influence on the entire project, port planners want to improve the decision-making for selecting the best berth layout. This research aims to improve the decision-making process for selecting the berth layout of preference by developing a design generation method for berth layouts and its respective pathway. This method might give insights into optimal berth layout configurations and its pathway in order for decision-makers to assess their preferred variant resulting from the set of variants developed by experts and the generated layout. After the method is developed, the method is tested on conceptual benchmark cases and a real case in order to assess whether such method can add value, or improve, design solutions of port basin layouts during the early project phase. Although limited studies and methods exist that have resemblance or commonalities with berth layout optimisation, the idea is in its infancy. Methods for berth layout optimization have been developed to generate berth layouts and its re spective pathway through the basin in this report. The optimization is separated into two steps: firstly, berth location optimization using a pre-defined central basin pathway, and secondly, optimization of the pathway belonging to the respective berth layout. The separation of the berth location and pathway optimisation reduces computational time. The heuristic berth location optimization optimizes the locations of the berths to minimize the central pathway dredging, while satisfying constraints prescribing a minimal distance between the berths. After the berth locations are optimized, the pathways can either be optimized by means of a heuristic pathway approach, or by means of an exact mathematical pro gramming approach, both of which are developed in this research. The heuristic pathway optimization approach models required dredging by translating the dredging for a berth into a graph with weighted edges and then sequentially defining the route that requires the least dredging per berth, eventually forming the complete basin pathway. The exact pathway approach uses a mathematical programming setup. The methods are applied to conceptual benchmark cases a real-life case. The benchmarks differ in basin dimensions, basin bottom profile, and fleet characteristics. The real-life case concerned the Scheurhaven, which is a small port basin for mainly tugboats. The layout of the Scheurhaven had to be adapted to fit more tugboats in the basin. The Scheurhaven case was optimised with the heuristic approach, due to the potentially large computational time of the exact approach. As the berth locations were limited and the method lacked features to make the design comparable, such as structures and berth geometry, only heuristic pathway optimisation was done.