Collab is a researcher project funded by the SMARTRANS Programme of the Research Council of Norway. The goal is to develop parallel and collaborative methods in transportation optimization. The Collab project started in March 2009 and ended in July 2012.
The Research Council of Norway granted a continuation project (Collab II), which started in April 2013 and will run until December 2016.
Advanced vehicle routing tools are increasingly being used for more efficient transportation. Their effect is largely determined by a combination of the power of the underlying optimization methods and the power of the computer. For many applications, there is still a large gap between performance requirements and the performance offered by tools.
In collaboration with research groups abroad, SINTEF has developed highly competitive methods for rich, industrial variants of the Vehicle Routing Problem. The methods have been implemented in vehicle routing tools, e.g., the Spider technology, and disseminated to industry through vendors. Hence, they improve transportation efficiency in many organizations.
Until recently, the performance of transportation optimization software has increased rapidly through a combination of research based improvement of optimization methods and the general increase of CPU clock frequency. The latter has stagnated due to technological limits. Increasing processor power is now instead offered through an increasing number of cores. Graphics processors (GPUs) become more programmable and show a drastic increase of performance for data-parallel computing. In the near future, commodity processors will be heterogeneous and combine a high number of cores and programmable GPUs.
To exploit these developments, it is now absolutely necessary that new and parallelized transportation optimization methods are developed. In Collab, we will develop parallel and collaborative optimization methods, starting from existing, high performance methods. The new methods will be able to fully utilize the performance increase of future multi-core and heterogeneous hardware platforms.
The Collab project partnership consists of:
The project is funded by the SMARTRANS Programme of the Research Council of Norway.
Geir Hasle, SINTEF ICT.
SINTEF ICT engaged PhD Christian Schulz as the Collab postdoctoral researcher for the period January 1 2010 until June 30 2012. As of July 1 2012, Christian holds a permanent Research Scientist position at SINTEF.