Chapter 15

MATLAB Simulation of Airport Baggage-Handling System

If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person.

—Alan Cooper


This section discusses a simple implementation of an intelligent baggage-handling system in MATLAB. Airport baggage-handling systems (BHSs) fall under the broad umbrella of material-handling systems that automate the process of moving materials. Current BHS controllers are based on standard industrial techniques, namely, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Distributed techniques consist of either separate but interdependent parts or autonomous agents that can share information. IEC 61499 is a standard for distributed systems.


Sensing devices are central to the functioning of airport baggage-handling systems (BHSs). Almost all airport BHSs employ the following sensors/sensing devices:

  • Radar/transponder
  • Camera
  • Smart cards
  • Radiofrequency identification (RFID)
  • Motion sensor
  • Automatic target recognition (ATR)
  • X-ray scanner

Hence, the sensor network is heterogeneous. The area of data fusion deals with combining data from different kinds of sensors. There are two approaches to processing signals when employing multiple sensors [1]. In the first case, the raw data can be transmitted to a central processor. This approach requires low-latency transmissions and considerably high bandwidth. In the second case, some or the entire signal processing is performed by sensors. This approach ...

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