Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 246–267 | Cite as

The Orienteering Problem with Time Windows Applied to Robotic Melon Harvesting

  • Moshe Mann
  • Boaz Zion
  • Dror Rubinstein
  • Rafi Linker
  • Itzhak Shmulevich


The goal of a melon harvesting robot is to maximize the number of melons it harvests given a progressive speed. Selecting the sequence of melons that yields this maximum is an example of the orienteering problem with time windows. We present a dynamic programming-based algorithm that yields a strictly optimal solution to this problem. In contrast to similar methods, this algorithm utilizes the unique properties of the robotic harvesting task, such as uniform gain per vertex and time windows, to expand domination criteria and quicken the optimal path selection process. We prove that the complexity of this algorithm is linearithmic in the number of melons and can be implemented online if there is a bound on the density. The results of this algorithm are demonstrated to be significantly better than the standard heuristic solution for a wide range of harvesting robot scenarios.


Harvesting robot Orienteering Time windows Dynamic programming Combinatorial optimization 

Mathematics Subject Classification

05C85 68T40 90C39 90C27 68W40 



The authors would like to thank the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School of the Technion for their partial support of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTechnionHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Agricultural Research Organization - the Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael

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