Multiobjective optimization of a port-of-entry inspection policy

Christina M. Young, Mingyu Li, Yada Zhu, Minge Xie, Elsayed A. Elsayed, Tsvetan Asamov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


At the port-of-entry, containers are inspected through a specific sequence of sensor stations to detect the presence of radioactive materials, biological and chemical agents, and other illegal cargo. The inspection policy, which includes the sequence in which sensors are applied and the threshold levels used at the inspection stations, affects the probability of misclassifying a container as well as the cost and time spent in inspection. This work is an extension of a paper by Elsayed , which considers an inspection system operating with a Boolean decision function combining station results. In this paper, we present a multiobjective optimization approach to determine the optimal sensor arrangement and threshold levels, while considering cost and time. The total cost includes cost incurred by misclassification errors and the total expected cost of inspection, while the time represents the total expected time a container spends in the inspection system. Examples which apply the approach in various systems are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5159365
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Boolean function
  • Multiobjective
  • Probability of false accept
  • Probability of false reject
  • Sensor threshold levels


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