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An Integer Linear Programming Local Search for Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problems

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

Summary

In this chapter we address the classical Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), where (at most) k minimum-cost routes through a central depot are constructed to cover all customers while satisfying, for each route, both a capacity and a total-distance-traveled limit. We present a Local Search algorithm for VRP, based on the exploration of an exponential neighborhood by solving an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) problem. Our starting point is the following refinement heuristic procedure proposed by De Franceschi et al.: given an initial solution to be possibly improved, (a) select several customers from the current solution, and build the restricted solution obtained from the current one by extracting (i.e., short-cutting) the selected customers; (b) reallocate the extracted customers to the restricted solution by solving an ILP problem, in the attempt of finding a new improved solution. We present a generalization of the neighborhood proposed in this method, and investigate the Column Generation Problem associated with the Linear Programming (LP) relaxation of the ILP formulation corresponding to the neighborhood. In particular, we propose a two-phase approach for the neighborhood exploration, which first reduces the neighborhood size through a simple heuristic criterion, and then explores the reduced neighborhood by solving the corresponding ILP formulation through the (heuristic) solution of the Column Generation Problem associated with its LP relaxation. We report computational results on capacitated VRP instances from the literature (with/without distance constraints), which are usually used as benchmark instances for the considered problem. In several cases, the proposed algorithm is able to find the new best-known solution in the literature.

Distance constrained capacitated vehicle routing problem local search exponential neighborhood integer linear programming column generation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DEISUniversity of Bologna Viale RisorgimentoViale Risorgimento 2Italy

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