David E. Weldon

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The need for rapid response capabilities and effective joint operations dictates a new approach in which deployment planning is integrated into the mission-planning processes. In the research reported here, we explored new technologies to enable rapid identification of feasible transportation options and enhance shared awareness of commander’s intent and inter-command collaboration. Our solution extends state-of-the-art Tabu Search algorithms, producing effective transportation solutions in significantly less time than current models. The human guidance and collaborative components of HALO enhance performance by accommodating dynamic operational requirements. HALO benchmark tests demonstrated superiority to other optimization algorithms on Multi-Vehicle, Pickup and Delivery Problems with Time Windows (MVPDPTW) reported in the literature. When applied to intra-theater MVPDPTW distribution problems, HALO generated feasible, near-optimal solutions acceptable to subject matter experts in less than a minute. We conclude that HALO is a powerful decision tool that is easily integrated into current planning processes with strong user acceptance.