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Journal of Heuristics

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 307–336 | Cite as

Parametric Ghost Image Processes for Fixed-Charge Problems: A Study of Transportation Networks

  • Fred Glover
Article

Abstract

We present a parametric approach for solving fixed-charge problems first sketched in Glover (1994). Our implementation is specialized to handle the most prominently occurring types of fixed-charge problems, which arise in the area of network applications. The network models treated by our method include the most general members of the network flow class, consisting of generalized networks that accommodate flows with gains and losses. Our new parametric method is evaluated by reference to transportation networks, which are the network structures most extensively examined, and for which the most thorough comparative testing has been performed. The test set of fixed-charge transportation problems used in our study constitutes the most comprehensive randomly generated collection available in the literature. Computational comparisons reveal that our approach performs exceedingly well. On a set of a dozen small problems we obtain ten solutions that match or beat solutions found by CPLEX 9.0 and that beat the solutions found by the previously best heuristic on 11 out of 12 problems. On a more challenging set of 120 larger problems we uniformly obtain solutions superior to those found by CPLEX 9.0 and, in 114 out of 120 instances, superior to those found by the previously best approach. At the same time, our method finds these solutions while on average consuming 100 to 250 times less CPU time than CPLEX 9.0 and a roughly equivalent amount of CPU time as taken by the previously best method.

Keywords

fixed-charge problems networks generalized networks ghost image processes tabu search 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds School of Business, UCB 419University of ColoradoBoulder

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