An Electromagnetism-like Algorithm to Solve Three-dimensional Highway Alignment Problem

Document Type: Article


1 Dept. of Civil Eng., Sharif University of Technology,Tehran, Iran

2 Institute for Transportation Studies and Research, Dept. of Civil Eng., Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Road alignment design is an important determinant of the development cost of road networks. On the one side, it affects road construction and maintenance costs, which constitute a significant part of country-wide infrastructure development, management and operation budget each year. On the other side, it affects road user-related costs of travel time and vehicle use, which comprise a significant portion of the total transportation cost. This study adapts the existing Electromagnetism-like meta-heuristic algorithm to solve a three-dimensional highway alignment problem, which explores and finds a good route between two given points on a terrain. It detects the potentials of the given initial routes, which are enhanced and shaped toward better positions by the help of the local and global search. The final good solution is, then, fine-tuned for a better alignment. Several example problems are designed to show the behavior of the algorithm. The results show that the algorithm satisfactorily maneuvers to by-pass obstacles, and build highway structures where necessary. The set of the example problems in this paper may also serve to found a basis for evaluation of the performance of alternative algorithms


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