PhD opportunities

Structuring urban logistics systems: a data-driven approach

Area of expertise Real-time computer science, robotics,systems and control - Paris
Doctoral School SMI - Sciences des Mtiers de l'Ingnieur
Title Structuring urban logistics systems: a data-driven approach
Supervisor M. Arnaud DE LA FORTELLE
Co-supervisor M. Simon TAMAYO
Research unit Mathematics and Systems
CAOR - Centre de CAO et Robotique
Keywords modelisation, simulation, optimisation, smart cities, urban logistics
Abstract Urban logistics is a complex system composed of many actors whose objectives are often divergent. Some discrepancies seem obvious, such as, for example, the opposition between the City and the carriers on certain motorization choices. These obvious oppositions between the actors tend to hide contradictions within their own objectives. An example is a citizen who wishes to be delivered at any time of the day free of charge and who opposes the presence of a delivery vehicle impeding traffic and potentially polluting.
Decisions in urban logistics are thus influenced by a set of actors. This complex relationship has been studied extensively in the literature from a managerial point of view. It is an indispensable approach to the understanding of Urban Logistics, but it would also benefit from a technical approach.
The aim of this thesis is to combine operational research tools (modeling, simulation, optimization, learning) with the data of the real system. These data are increasingly open (OpenData) but they are very heterogeneous, of sometimes poor quality and finally they often give indirect access to the variables that we want to estimate. This linkage work should be used to quantify the impacts of a decision on the urban logistics system and its stakeholders. These impacts can be economic, social and environmental.
This work responds to a double need. On the one hand, a need for evaluation, to ensure the viability of projects. On the other hand, there is a need for understanding, in order to anticipate the changes in the players' game as a result of changes in the logistics system.
A logistics system is a set of elements (actors and goods) that interact with each other according to certain principles or rules. The logistics system responds to a need, which is shaped by the specificities of the sector of activity, the type of goods and the city. The multiplicity of these specificities implies that urban logistics must be adapted to each situation. From a business point of view, the logistics of a retail chain is quite different from that of a courier company. Also, within the same sector of activity, the type of merchandise implies different organizational constraints, for example for the delivery of fresh and dry in the agri-foodstuffs. Finally, what are the organizational opportunities for the logistics of a city, depending on its infrastructure and regulations?
The problem addressed in this research work is to identify logistic patterns relevant to a given sector of activity and type of goods in a given city. In other words, this thesis deals with the most relevant distribution patterns (eg what storage points, what types of vehicles, what type of tour?), For a given logistic structure (eg, Chain of the type 'factory - wholesaler - distributor - store'), respecting commercial, spatial and regulatory constraints. Knowing that the logistics structures evolve (for example, distributors can order directly from the factory without going through the wholesalers) and that often several distribution logic coexist and interact within the same structure.
A better understanding of this system will be achieved through a modeling, simulation and optimization approach, which would pave the way for better management through adapted urban policies and / or optimized logistics organizations.
Funding Autre type de financement
Starting date October 1st 2017
Date of first publication July 12th 2017