A problem frequently encountered in ports is the sequencing of waiting ships for berthing to load or unload so that the total demurrage cost incurred is minimized. Here a knowledge-based approach is applied to solve this problem. The constraints of the port and the working rules adopted by the port are expressed as knowledge rules and embedded into the framework of the logic of dock arrangement. With the inference mechanism of a knowledge engineering language OPS5, the best arrangement of the docks can be inferred. Since the operation rules differ from port to port, the problem is confined to the material docks of the China Steel Corporation. A system entitled DOCK is designed to find the best three available alternatives. The idea can be applied and the DOCK system modified for use by other ports.
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