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PhD position

PhD position in DSS for freight intermodal transportation - University of Valenciennes(FRANCE)

*Title*: A reactive decision support system for freight intermodal
barge transportation services

*Financial support*: Doctoral Contract for three years (2012-2015)

*Co-director of the PhD*: A. Artiba (UVHC/LAMIH)
*Thesis supervisors*:
- I. Bilegan (UVHC/LAMIH), e-mail: ioana.bilegan@univ-valenciennes.fr
- E. Adam (UVHC/LAMIH), e-mail: emmanuel.adam@univ-valenciennes.fr

*Research Laboratory*: LAMIH UMR CNRS/UVHC 8201, Valenciennes;
Research Team: Decision, Interaction and Mobility (DIM)


The candidate needs a strong background in Computer Sciences and/or in Operations Research including methods of modeling and optimization, discrete-event system simulation, as well as algorithms and data structures in C/C++ language; multi-agent systems knowledge would be appreciated. French language is not required. The scholarship is open to all nationalities.

An international internship of six months will have to be completed during the PhD thesis period, with the Professor T.G. Crainic, the Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory of the CIRRELT (Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation), Montreal, Canada.

To apply, please send by e-mail, to the thesis supervisors, the
following documents: an extended CV (including a list of publications and scientific/technical reports), a certificate with scores and ranking during the last three years of academic studies, at least two letters of recommendation (or contacts of at least two referees) and a letter describing the motivations and the professional project of the candidate.

**PhD Project**:

In the context of freight intermodal transportation, the goal of this research is to contribute to the development of sustainable
transportation systems, and to allow and improve the modal transfer towards less polluting transportation modes, especially concerning the inland waterway network.

Taking advantage of a well-designed decision support system to manage intermodal transport activities is an essential asset. Up to now, many research initiatives and industrial projects tackled the complex problem of intermodal transportation chains organization, with a particular interest towards railways, as a ?greener? transportation alternative. Nevertheless, from this point of view, just a few published studies discuss about the inland waterway as an intermodal transportation alternative (Caris, 2011).

As a general framework, the approach of this type of transportation problems is as follows: on the basis of an existing demand knowledge, the service network design is done and services are planned on the middle-term (weeks, months), followed by the operational level activities optimisation on the short-term (hours, days) in order to minimise costs. The revenue management approach allows, at the operational level, the optimal assignment of services available capacities with respect to the forecasted demands, in order to maximise expected revenues of a company.

One of the innovative aspects of this research work is the application of revenue management concepts and thus the use of differential pricing strategies based on reasonable criteria for the clients. These policies are successfully applied in many different sectors, and are used by commercial airlines, for passenger transportation, for more than 30 years now. The concepts of revenue management have been proposed, in a basic form, in 1972 (Littlewood, 1972) and have not ceased to be developed and to gain in applications diversity (Boyd and Bilegan, 2003) since. Revenue management has become today a well-established research field in the domain of Operations Research (Talluri and van Ryzin, 2004).

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