Exact and hyper-heuristic solutions for the distribution-installation problem from the VeRoLog 2019 challenge

Ahmed Kheiri*, Leena Ahmed, Burak Boyacı, Joaquim Gromicho, Christine Mumford, Ender Özcan, Ali Selim Dirikoç

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This work tackles a rich vehicle routing problem (VRP) problem integrating a capacitated vehicle routing problem with time windows (CVRPTW), and a service technician routing and scheduling problem (STRSP) for delivering various equipment based on customers' requests, and the subsequent installation by a number of technicians. The main objective is to reduce the overall costs of hired resources, and the total transportation costs of trucks/technicians. The problem was the topic of the fourth edition of the VeRoLog Solver Challenge in cooperation with the ORTEC company. Our contribution to research is the development of a mathematical model for this problem and a novel hyper-heuristic algorithm to solve the problem based on a population of solutions. Experimental results on two datasets of small and real-world size revealed the success of the hyper-heuristic approach in finding optimal solutions in a shorter computational time, when compared to our exact model. The results of the large size dataset were also compared to the results of the eight finalists in the competition and were found to be competitive, proving the potential of our developed hyper-heuristic framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-319
Number of pages26
JournalNetworks
Volume76
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • hyper-heuristics
  • metaheuristics
  • optimization
  • routing
  • transportation
  • VRP

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