Combining Exact Methods to Construct Effective Hybrid Approaches to Vehicle Routing

  • Rym M’HallahEmail author
Part of the Women in Engineering and Science book series (WES)


This chapter proposes a new research direction whose viability is due to advances of computing technologies. It combines mixed integer and constraint programming in different ways in quest of effective search techniques. It uses exact approaches as approximate ones not only by imposing runtime and bounding limits, but also by relaxing the mathematical models in a non-classical way. For example, it augments the model with “non-traditional constraints,” substitutes hard constraints with “easier” ones, and limits the search space to neighborhoods that may contain the optimum. The resulting search techniques offer industries a competitive edge by identifying near-optimal solutions to complex problems and providing them, at no investment cost, with feasible/directly implementable solutions to realistic instances (not to their abstract/simplified form). This chapter illustrates such benefits on a very difficult industrial engineering problem: vehicle routing with multiple time windows. This problem has a compounded difficulty. It involves two NP-hard subproblems: routing and scheduling. Solving its real-life instances is almost impossible. However, good quality solutions may be obtained in reasonable times via the proposed technique.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchCollege of Science, Kuwait UniversityKuwait CityKuwait

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