A multi-objective optimization strategy for timber forwarding in cut-to-length harvesting operations

Eero Holmström, Jussi Nikander, Juha Backman, Kari Väätäinen, Jori Uusitalo, Paula Jylhä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Optimization of forwarding work on the trail network created by the harvester in cut-to-length operations carries much potential for increasing the efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of timber removal. While several approaches to this optimization task have been proposed, existing methods focus on optimizing a single objective at a time. In this work, a heuristic multi-objective optimization strategy for the problem is presented, where the route length, operation duration, and soil damage can be optimized simultaneously. The strategy is based on a tailored version of ant colony optimization and linear scalarization of the full multi-objective problem. The relative importance of the objectives can be set via tunable weights, and the approach is of a modular nature. Results on a realistically sized clearcut harvest site indicate that the strategy produces promising results and gives the expected qualitative behavior when optimizing either a single objective or two objectives at a time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Forest Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • forest machine route optimization
  • ant colony optimization
  • forwarding productivity
  • sustainable forestry


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