An adjustable robust optimization approach for periodic timetabling

G. J. Polinder*, Thomas Breugem, Twan Dollevoet, Gábor Maróti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In this paper, we consider the Robust Periodic Timetabling Problem (RPTP), the problem of designing a periodic timetable that can easily be adjusted in case of small periodic disturbances. We develop a solution method for a parametrized class of uncertainty regions. This class relates closely to uncertainty regions known in the robust optimization literature, and naturally defines a metric for the robustness of the timetable. The proposed solution method combines a linear decision rule with well-known reformulation techniques and cutting-plane methods. We show that the RPTP can be solved for practical-sized instances by applying the solution method to practical cases of Netherlands Railways (NS). In particular, we show that the trade-off between the efficiency and robustness of a timetable can be analyzed using our solution method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-68
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Early online date6 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Adjustable robustness
  • Periodic event scheduling
  • Periodic timetabling
  • Robust optimization


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