A decomposition solution approach to the troops-to-tasks assignment in military peacekeeping operations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThe Journal of Defence Modeling and Simulation: Applications, Methodology, Technology. 2019, . 10.1177/1548512919875230
This paper considers the Peacekeeping Troops-to-Tasks Problem (PTTP). The PTTP deals with assigning battlegroup resources to a set of tasks associated with a given peacekeeping mission. The tasks may be spread across several locations, and have requirements regarding the time at which they can be handled, and the skills and skill levels needed to complete them. There is also a utility value related to each completed task that reflects its importance. The resources are bound by a hierarchy of command, limiting their movement in relation to one another. The aim is to decide which tasks to complete, when, and by whom. We present a mathematical compact model for the PTTP, which includes a number of complicating real-life factors. Due to the complexity of the compact model, it is difficult to solve large instances using a commercial solver. Therefore, we also propose a decomposition-based solution approach, with a decomposed model where possible travel routes for the resources are generated a priori. The computational study shows that the decomposed model has better performance than the compact model, and that it can be used as a good starting point for developing a useful decision support tool for military peacekeeping operations planning.