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Using Constraint Programming and Local Search Methods to Solve Vehicle Routing Problems
, 1998
"... We use a local search method we term Large Neighbourhood Search (LNS) for solving vehicle routing problems. LNS meshes well with constraint programming technology and is analogous to the shuffling technique of jobshop scheduling. The technique explores a large neighbourhood of the current solution ..."
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Cited by 212 (2 self)
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We use a local search method we term Large Neighbourhood Search (LNS) for solving vehicle routing problems. LNS meshes well with constraint programming technology and is analogous to the shuffling technique of jobshop scheduling. The technique explores a large neighbourhood of the current solution by selecting a number of customer visits to remove from the routing plan, and reinserting these visits using a constraintbased tree search. We analyse the performance of LNS on a number of vehicle routing benchmark problems. Unlike related methods, we use Limited Discrepancy Search during the tree search to reinsert visits. We also maintain diversity during search by dynamically altering the number of visits to be removed, and by using a randomised choice method for selecting visits to remove. We analyse the performance of our method for various parameter settings controlling the discrepancy limit, the dynamicity of the size of the removal set, and the randomness of the choice. We demonst...
Guided Local Search
, 2010
"... Combinatorial explosion problem is a well known phenomenon that prevents complete algorithms from solving many reallife combinatorial optimization problems. In many situations, heuristic search methods are needed. This chapter describes the principles of Guided Local Search (GLS) and Fast Local Sea ..."
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Cited by 64 (5 self)
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Combinatorial explosion problem is a well known phenomenon that prevents complete algorithms from solving many reallife combinatorial optimization problems. In many situations, heuristic search methods are needed. This chapter describes the principles of Guided Local Search (GLS) and Fast Local Search (FLS) and surveys their applications. GLS is a penaltybased metaheuristic algorithm that sits on top of other local search algorithms, with the aim to improve their efficiency and robustness. FLS is a way of reducing the size of the neighbourhood to improve the efficiency of local search. The chapter also provides guidance for implementing and using GLS and FLS. Four problems, representative of general application categories, are examined with detailed information provided on how to build a GLSbased method in each case.
A hybrid multiobjective evolutionary algorithm for solving vehicle routing problem with time windows
 Combinatorial Optimization and Applications
"... Abstract This paper considers a transportation problem for moving empty or laden containers for a logistic company. A model for this truck and trailer vehicle routing problem (TTVRP) is first constructed in the paper. The solution to the TTVRP consists of finding a complete routing schedule for ser ..."
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Cited by 39 (0 self)
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Abstract This paper considers a transportation problem for moving empty or laden containers for a logistic company. A model for this truck and trailer vehicle routing problem (TTVRP) is first constructed in the paper. The solution to the TTVRP consists of finding a complete routing schedule for serving the jobs with minimum routing distance and number of trucks, subject to a number of constraints such as time windows and availability of trailers. To solve such a multiobjective and multimodal combinatorial optimization problem, a hybrid multiobjective evolutionary algorithm (HMOEA) is applied to find the Pareto optimal routing solutions for the TTVRP. Detailed analysis is performed to extract useful decisionmaking information from the multiobjective optimization results The computational results have shown that the HMOEA is effective for solving multiobjective combinatorial problems, such as finding useful tradeoff solutions for the TTVRP. 1
Parallelization of the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows
, 2001
"... Routing with time windows (VRPTW) has been an area of research that have
attracted many researchers within the last 10 { 15 years. In this period a number
of papers and technical reports have been published on the exact solution of the
VRPTW.
The VRPTW is a generalization of the wellknown capacitat ..."
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Cited by 38 (2 self)
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Routing with time windows (VRPTW) has been an area of research that have
attracted many researchers within the last 10 { 15 years. In this period a number
of papers and technical reports have been published on the exact solution of the
VRPTW.
The VRPTW is a generalization of the wellknown capacitated routing problem
(VRP or CVRP). In the VRP a
eet of vehicles must visit (service) a number
of customers. All vehicles start and end at the depot. For each pair of customers
or customer and depot there is a cost. The cost denotes how much is costs a
vehicle to drive from one customer to another. Every customer must be visited
exactly ones. Additionally each customer demands a certain quantity of goods
delivered (know as the customer demand). For the vehicles we have an upper
limit on the amount of goods that can be carried (known as the capacity). In
the most basic case all vehicles are of the same type and hence have the same
capacity. The problem is now for a given scenario to plan routes for the vehicles
in accordance with the mentioned constraints such that the cost accumulated
on the routes, the #12;xed costs (how much does it cost to maintain a vehicle) or
a combination hereof is minimized.
In the more general VRPTW each customer has a time window, and between
all pairs of customers or a customer and the depot we have a travel time. The
vehicles now have to comply with the additional constraint that servicing of the
customers can only be started within the time windows of the customers. It
is legal to arrive before a time window \opens" but the vehicle must wait and
service will not start until the time window of the customer actually opens.
For solving the problem exactly 4 general types of solution methods have
evolved in the literature: dynamic programming, DantzigWolfe (column generation),
Lagrange decomposition and solving the classical model formulation
directly.
Presently the algorithms that uses DantzigWolfe given the best results
(Desrochers, Desrosiers and Solomon, and Kohl), but the Ph.D. thesis of Kontoravdis
shows promising results for using the classical model formulation directly.
In this Ph.D. project we have used the DantzigWolfe method. In the
DantzigWolfe method the problem is split into two problems: a \master problem"
and a \subproblem". The master problem is a relaxed set partitioning
v
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problem that guarantees that each customer is visited exactly ones, while the
subproblem is a shortest path problem with additional constraints (capacity and
time window). Using the master problem the reduced costs are computed for
each arc, and these costs are then used in the subproblem in order to generate
routes from the depot and back to the depot again. The best (improving) routes
are then returned to the master problem and entered into the relaxed set partitioning
problem. As the set partitioning problem is relaxed by removing the
integer constraints the solution is seldomly integral therefore the DantzigWolfe
method is embedded in a separationbased solutiontechnique.
In this Ph.D. project we have been trying to exploit structural properties in
order to speed up execution times, and we have been using parallel computers
to be able to solve problems faster or solve larger problems.
The thesis starts with a review of previous work within the #12;eld of VRPTW
both with respect to heuristic solution methods and exact (optimal) methods.
Through a series of experimental tests we seek to de#12;ne and examine a number
of structural characteristics.
The #12;rst series of tests examine the use of dividing time windows as the
branching principle in the separationbased solutiontechnique. Instead of using
the methods previously described in the literature for dividing a problem into
smaller problems we use a methods developed for a variant of the VRPTW. The
results are unfortunately not positive.
Instead of dividing a problem into two smaller problems and try to solve
these we can try to get an integer solution without having to branch. A cut is an
inequality that separates the (nonintegral) optimal solution from all the integer
solutions. By #12;nding and inserting cuts we can try to avoid branching. For the
VRPTW Kohl has developed the 2path cuts. In the separationalgorithm for
detecting 2path cuts a number of test are made. By structuring the order in
which we try to generate cuts we achieved very positive results.
In the DantzigWolfe process a large number of columns may be generated,
but a signi#12;cant fraction of the columns introduced will not be interesting with
respect to the master problem. It is a priori not possible to determine which
columns are attractive and which are not, but if a column does not become part
of the basis of the relaxed set partitioning problem we consider it to be of no
bene#12;t for the solution process. These columns are subsequently removed from
the master problem. Experiments demonstrate a signi#12;cant cut of the running
time.
Positive results were also achieved by stopping the routegeneration process
prematurely in the case of timeconsuming shortest path computations. Often
this leads to stopping the shortest path subroutine in cases where the information
(from the dual variables) leads to \bad" routes. The premature exit
from the shortest path subroutine restricts the generation of \bad" routes signi
#12;cantly. This produces very good results and has made it possible to solve
problem instances not solved to optimality before.
The parallel algorithm is based upon the sequential DantzigWolfe based
algorithm developed earlier in the project. In an initial (sequential) phase unsolved
problems are generated and when there are unsolved problems enough
vii
to start work on every processor the parallel solution phase is initiated. In the
parallel phase each processor runs the sequential algorithm. To get a good workload
a strategy based on balancing the load between neighbouring processors is
implemented. The resulting algorithm is eĆcient and capable of attaining good
speedup values. The loadbalancing strategy shows an even distribution of work
among the processors. Due to the large demand for using the IBM SP2 parallel
computer at UNI#15;C it has unfortunately not be possible to run as many tests
as we would have liked. We have although managed to solve one problem not
solved before using our parallel algorithm.
Vehicle Routing and Job Shop Scheduling: What's the difference?
 Proc. of the 13th International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling
, 2003
"... Despite a number of similarities, vehicle routing problems and scheduling problems are typically solved with different techniques. In this paper, we undertake a systematic study of problem characteristics that differ between vehicle routing and scheduling problems in order to identify those that ..."
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Cited by 14 (2 self)
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Despite a number of similarities, vehicle routing problems and scheduling problems are typically solved with different techniques. In this paper, we undertake a systematic study of problem characteristics that differ between vehicle routing and scheduling problems in order to identify those that are important for the performance of typical vehicle routing and scheduling techniques. In particular, we find that the addition of temporal constraints among visits or the addition of tight vehicle specialization constraints significantly improves the performance of scheduling techniques relative to vehicle routing techniques.
Capturing Constraint Programming Experience: A CaseBased Approach
, 2002
"... The spread of constraint technology is inhibited by the lack of experienced constraint programmers. We present here a proposal for a tool that uses CaseBased Reasoning to store, retrieve and reuse constraint programming experience. We report our initial design ideas, and we sketch how the tool will ..."
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Cited by 10 (4 self)
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The spread of constraint technology is inhibited by the lack of experienced constraint programmers. We present here a proposal for a tool that uses CaseBased Reasoning to store, retrieve and reuse constraint programming experience. We report our initial design ideas, and we sketch how the tool will operate in the domain of logic puzzles.
Constraint Programming
, 2006
"... Constraint programming is a powerful paradigm for solving combinatorial search problems that draws on a wide range of techniques from artificial intelligence, operations research, algorithms, graph theory and elsewhere. The basic idea in constraint programming is that the user states the constraints ..."
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Cited by 5 (0 self)
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Constraint programming is a powerful paradigm for solving combinatorial search problems that draws on a wide range of techniques from artificial intelligence, operations research, algorithms, graph theory and elsewhere. The basic idea in constraint programming is that the user states the constraints and a general purpose constraint solver is used to solve them.
Local Search Methods
, 2006
"... Local search is one of the fundamental paradigms for solving computationally hard combinatorial problems, including the constraint satisfaction problem (CSP). It provides the basis for some of the most successful and versatile methods for solving the large and difficult problem instances encountered ..."
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Cited by 5 (0 self)
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Local search is one of the fundamental paradigms for solving computationally hard combinatorial problems, including the constraint satisfaction problem (CSP). It provides the basis for some of the most successful and versatile methods for solving the large and difficult problem instances encountered in many reallife applications. Despite impressive advances in systematic, complete search algorithms, local search methods in many cases represent the only feasible way for solving these large and complex instances. Local search algorithms are also naturally suited for dealing with the optimisation criteria arising in many practical applications. The basic idea underlying local search is to start with a randomly or heuristically generated candidate solution of a given problem instance, which may be infeasible, suboptimal or incomplete, and to iteratively improve this candidate solution by means of typically minor modifications. Different local search methods vary in the way in which improvements are achieved, and in particular, in the way in which situations are handled in which no direct improvement is possible. Most local search methods use randomisation to ensure that the search process does not
Large Neighborhood Search for rich VRP with multiple pickup and delivery locations
 in Proceedings of the 18th Mini EURO Conference on VNS (MECVNS
, 2005
"... In this paper we consider a rich vehicle routing problem where transportation requests are characterised by multiple pickup and delivery locations. The problem is a combined load acceptance and generalised vehicle routing problem incorporating a diversity of practical complexities. Among those are t ..."
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Cited by 3 (2 self)
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In this paper we consider a rich vehicle routing problem where transportation requests are characterised by multiple pickup and delivery locations. The problem is a combined load acceptance and generalised vehicle routing problem incorporating a diversity of practical complexities. Among those are time window restrictions, a heterogeneous vehicle fleet with different travel times, travel costs and capacity, multidimensional capacity constraints, order/vehicle compatibility constraints, and different start and end locations for vehicles. We propose iterative improvement approaches based on Large Neighborhood Search and a relatedness measure for transportation requests with multiple pickup and delivery locations. Our algorithms are characterised by very fast response times and thus, can be used within dynamic routing systems where input data can change at any time.