Solving the Integrated Forest Harvest Scheduling and Road Network Design Problem using Metaheuristic Algorithms
In forestry, the two major costs of delivering wood to the mill are the costs of forest road construction and transportation of harvested wood. Given the magnitude of the costs involved, and the complexity of the planning problem, computer optimization models are used. In this research project, we have outlined a research plan by which current, state-of-the-art algorithms can be used to improve how we model and solve this important problem. The most significant innovations of this work will be i) a more accurate and meaningful measure of transportation costs used in the model; and ii) a model that can be solved efficiently on large, industrial-scale forests. The expected benefit to the partner organization is that, by sharing our model and computer-code with them, the partner will have an improved planning model with which to generate forest management plans that have reduced transportation and road construction costs.