188/4 E-Commerce Group
Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems
Vienna University of Technology
Favoritenstrasse 9-11/188, A-1040 Vienna, Austria

Comparing models of Tourist Information Systems and applying them in Kosova case

Doctoral Thesis
In this PhD thesis, we solve the problem of tour itinerary planning for tourist groups. This problem is important, since often many tourists prefer going on tour in company of their relatives or friends, while aiming to visit points of interest that meet their individual preferences. Hence, the proposed solution can relieve the tourists from the task of itinerary planning. However, in terms of optimization, this problem is complex due to its objective in maximizing the satisfaction of all tourists, while coping with various individual constraints. We follow a path of three steps for solving the problem at hand. In the first step, we develop an algorithm for solving the solo tour planning problem, which we compare against the existing solutions in the literature. In the second step, we theoretical define the group tour problem that models the objective and the constraints of itinerary planning for tourist groups. Further, we use the solo tour planning algorithm to devise three straightforward approaches for solving group tour problem. The difference between the three approaches is whether tourist travel alone, in subgroups or altogether. Finally, in the third step, on top of the solo tour planning algorithm, we develop a group tour planning algorithm, which allows tourists to have a personalised tour itinerary throughput the trip. In order to meet individual preferences of tourists, the group tour algorithm combines the itinerary of different tourists so that they are sometimes planned to travel alone, and some other times they are planned to travel in subgroups or groups. In order to evaluate the proposed algorithms, we create a new test set for the group tour problem by extending the existing test set in the literature for the solo tour problem. We conduct the computational experiments with four different proposed approaches by using the generated test. The proposed approaches are evaluated based on the quality of their results they obtain and on the respective computation time. In addition, we also make experiments with the aim of identifying two modes of algorithm execution, one which produces high quality solutions with a longer computation time, and the other one that produces slightly worse solutions, but with a much less computation effort.
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Dorn, J.
Jan 2008