Integer Programming Models of Bookmobile Routing

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A bookmobile is a specially adapted bus or van used as part of the outreach operations of public library systems. Bookmobiles play a significant part in the service of the public library system in Buskerud County, Norway. They are used to deliver and collect library materials (printed books, audio books, periodicals, and music) to and from borrower groups throughout the County, many in remote areas. The question of how best to utilise the County’s bookmobile resources can be modelled as an interesting variation of one of the classical models of operational research — the travelling salesman problem. The combination of the features that make this scenario non-standard include multiple depots, simultaneous cost minimisation and prize collection objectives, differing customer service levels, time windows, route start time flexibility for some routes, multiple route duration restrictions, route lunch breaks, and overnight stays on certain routes. We report on models for the bookmobile problem, and the outcome of its application to the Buskerud County bookmobile system.