, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 125-144

A hybrid search method for the vehicle routing problem with time windows

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Abstract

Vehicle Routing Problems have been extensively analyzed to reduce transportation costs. More particularly, the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW) imposes the period of time of customer availability as a constraint, a common characteristic in real world situations. Using minimization of the total distance as the main objective to be fulfilled, this work implements an efficient algorithm which associates non-monotonic Simulated Annealing to Hill-Climbing and Random Restart. The algorithm is compared to the best results published in the literature for the 56 Solomon instances and it is shown how statistical methods can be used to boost the performance of the method.