Logistics Research

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

A distributed routing concept for vehicle routing problems

  • Henning RekersbrinkEmail author
  • Thomas Makuschewitz
  • Bernd Scholz-Reiter
Original Paper


Traditional solution concepts for the vehicle routing problem (VRP) are pushed to their limits, when applied on dynamically changing vehicle routing scenarios—which are more close to reality than the static formulation. By contrast, the introduced distributed routing concept is designed to match packages and vehicles and to continuously make route decisions especially within a dynamic environment. In this autonomous control concept, each of these objects makes its own decisions. The developed algorithm was entitled Distributed Logistics Routing Protocol (DLRP). But in spite of the restricted suitability of the traditional VRP concepts for dynamic environments, they are still the benchmark for any VRP-similar task. Therefore, we first present a description of the developed DLRP. Then an adapted vehicle routing problem is defined, which both sides, static and dynamic concepts, can cope with. Finally, both concepts are compared using a tabu search algorithm as a well working instance of traditional VRP-concepts. For a quantitative comparison, four solutions are given for the same adapted problem: the optimal solution as a lower bound, the DLRP solution, a tabu search solution and a random-like solution as an upper bound.


Vehicle routing problem (VRP) Autonomous control Distributed logistics routing protocol (DLRP) Tabu search Optimisation Routing algorithm Transport logistic 



This research is funded by the German Research Foundation as part of the Collaborative Research Centre 637 ‘Autonomous Cooperating Logistic Processes—A Paradigm Shift and its Limitations’.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Rekersbrink
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Makuschewitz
    • 1
  • Bernd Scholz-Reiter
    • 1
  1. 1.BIBA an der Universität BremenBremenGermany

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