Constraints

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 315–333 | Cite as

A Cost-Regular Based Hybrid Column Generation Approach

  • Sophie Demassey
  • Gilles Pesant
  • Louis-Martin Rousseau
Article

Abstract

Constraint Programming (CP) offers a rich modeling language of constraints embedding efficient algorithms to handle complex and heterogeneous combinatorial problems. To solve hard combinatorial optimization problems using CP alone or hybrid CP-ILP decomposition methods, costs also have to be taken into account within the propagation process. Optimization constraints, with their cost-based filtering algorithms, aim to apply inference based on optimality rather than feasibility. This paper introduces a new optimization constraint, cost-regular. Its filtering algorithm is based on the computation of shortest and longest paths in a layered directed graph. The support information is also used to guide the search for solutions. We believe this constraint to be particularly useful in modeling and solving Column Generation subproblems and evaluate its behaviour on complex Employee Timetabling Problems through a flexible CP-based column generation approach. Computational results on generated benchmark sets and on a complex real-world instance are given.

Keywords

optimization constraints hybrid OR/CP methods CP-based column generation branch and price employee timetabling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Demassey
    • 1
  • Gilles Pesant
    • 2
  • Louis-Martin Rousseau
    • 2
  1. 1.École des Mines de NantesLINA FRE CNRS 2729NantesFrance
  2. 2.Centre for Research on TransportationÉcole Polytechnique de MontréalMontrealCanada

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