Bi-Objective Scheduling of Fire Engines for Fighting Forest Fires: New Optimization Approaches

Peng Wu, Feng Chu, Ada Che, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


It is challenging to perform emergency scheduling for fighting forest fires subject to limited rescue resources (i.e., vehicles with fire engines), since extinguishing each fire point should take into account multiple factors, such as the actual fire spreading speed, distance from fire engine depot to fire points, fire-fighting speed of fire engines, and the number of dispatched vehicles. This paper investigates a bi-objective rescue vehicle scheduling problem for multi-point forest fires, which aims to optimally dispatch a limited number of fire engines to extinguish fires. The objectives are to minimize the total fire-extinguishing time and the number of dispatched fire engines. For this problem, we first develop an integer program that is an improved and simplified version of an existing one. After exploring some properties of the problem, we develop an exact dynamic programming algorithm and a fast greedy heuristic method. Computational results for a real-life instance, and benchmark and large-size randomly generated instances confirm the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model and algorithms. Besides, a bi-objective integer program is developed to address the multi-depot fire engine scheduling issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1151
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Forest fires
  • Pareto front
  • emergency scheduling
  • multi-objective
  • optimization


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