, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 411–439 | Cite as

Generating constrained length personalized bicycle tours

  • P. StroobantEmail author
  • P. Audenaert
  • D. Colle
  • M. Pickavet
Research Paper


In the context of recreational routing, the problem of finding a route which starts and ends in the same location (while achieving a length between specified upper and lower boundaries) is a common task, especially for tourists or cyclists who want to exercise. The topic of finding a tour between a specified starting and ending location while minimizing one or multiple criteria is well covered in literature. In contrast to this, the route planning task in which a pleasant tour with length between a maximum and a minimum boundary needs to be found is relatively underexplored. In this paper, we provide a formal definition of this problem, taking into account the existing literature on which route attributes influence cyclists in their route choice. We show that the resulting problem is NP-hard and devise a branch-and-bound algorithm that is able to provide a bound on the quality of the best solution in pseudo-polynomial time. Furthermore, we also create an efficient heuristic to tackle the problem and we compare the quality of the solutions that are generated by the heuristic with the bounds provided by the branch-and-bound algorithm. Also, we thoroughly discuss the complexity and running time of the heuristic.


Constrained bicycle routing Branch-and-bound algorithm Reach-based routing 

Mathematics Subject Classification

Primary 05C38 Secondary 68R10 94C15 



We wish to thank the reviewers for their valuable comments and their constructive input in improving our work. Pieter Stroobant is funded by a Ph.D. grant of Ghent University, Special Research Fund (BOF). The authors wish to thank Ghent University–IMEC for their support and their funding through the IOP research project “Modelling uncertainty in hub location planning through interdisciplinary research”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information TechnologyGhent University, imec, IDLab, iGent TowerGhentBelgium

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