Online Vehicle Routing Problems: A Survey

Part of the Operations Research/Computer Science Interfaces book series (ORCS, volume 43)


We consider online Vehicle Routing Problems (VRPs). The problems are online because the problem instance is revealed incrementally. After providing motivations for the consideration of such online problems, we first give a detailed summary of the most relevant research in the area of online VRPs. We then consider the online Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) with precedence and capacity constraints and give an online algorithm with a competitive ratio of at most 2. We also consider an online version of the TSP with m salesmen and we give an online algorithm that has a competitive ratio of 2, a result that is best possible. We also study polynomial-time algorithms for these problems. Finally, we introduce the notion of disclosure dates, a form of advanced notice which allows for more realisticcompetitive ratios.

Key words

Online optimization competitive analysis routing transportation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge
  2. 2.Department of ManagementCalifornia State University East BayHayward

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