Optimization Letters

, Volume 7, Issue 7, pp 1525–1535 | Cite as

A parallel matheuristic for the technician routing and scheduling problem

  • V. Pillac
  • C. Guéret
  • A. L. MedagliaEmail author
Original Paper


The Technician Routing and Scheduling Problem (TRSP) consists in routing staff to serve requests for service, taking into account time windows, skills, tools, and spare parts. Typical applications include maintenance operations and staff routing in telecoms, public utilities, and in the health care industry. In this paper, we present a formal definition of the TRSP, discuss its relation with the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW), and review related research. From a methodological perspective, we describe a matheuristic composed of a constructive heuristic, a parallel Adaptive Large Neighborhood Search, and a mathematical programming based post-optimization procedure that successfully tackles the TRSP. We validate the matheuristic on the Solomon VRPTW instances, where we achieve an average gap of \(0.23\,\%\), and matched 44 out of 55 optimal solutions. Finally, we illustrate how the matheuristic successfully solves a set of TRSP instances extended from the Solomon benchmark.


Vehicle routing Technician routing and scheduling  Matheuristic ALNS  VRPTW 



Financial support for this work was provided by the CPER (Contrat de Projet Etat Region) Vallée du Libre (France); and the Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios Básicos y Aplicados en Complejidad (CEIBA, Colombia). This support is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would also like to thank Olivier Péton from the Ecole des Mines de Nantes and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.


  1. 1.
    Akjiratikarl, C., Yenradee, P., Drake, P.R.: PSO-based algorithm for home care worker scheduling in the UK. Compu. Ind. Eng. 53(4), 559–583 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bertels, S., Fahle, T.: A hybrid setup for a hybrid scenario: combining heuristics for the home health care problem. Comput. Operat. Res. 33(10), 2866–2890 (2006)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bredström, D., Rönnqvist, M.: Combined vehicle routing and scheduling with temporal precedence and synchronization constraints. Eur. J. Operat. Res. 191(1), 19–31 (2008)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cordeau, J.F., Laporte, G., Pasin, F., Ropke, S.: Scheduling technicians and tasks in a telecommunications company. J. Sched. 13(4), 393–409 (2010)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eveborn, P., Flisberg, P., Rönnqvist, M.: LAPS CARE—an operational system for staff planning of home care. Eur. J. Operat. Res. 171(3), 962–976 (2006)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hashimoto, H., Boussier, S., Vasquez, M., Wilbaut, C.: A GRASP-based approach for technicians and interventions scheduling for telecommunications. Ann. Operat. Res. 183, 143–161 (2011)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kovacs, A., Parragh, S., Doerner, K., Hartl, R.: Adaptive large neighborhood search for service technician routing and scheduling problems. J. Sched. :1–22 (2011). doi: 10.1007/s10951-011-0246-9
  8. 8.
    Parragh, S.N.: Solving a real-world service technician routing and scheduling problem. In Proceedings of the Seventh Triennial Symposium on Transportation Analysis (TRISTAN VII) (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pillac, V., Guéret, C., Medaglia, A.L.: A parallel matheuristic for the technician routing and scheduling problem: supplementary material (online) (2011).
  10. 10.
    Pisinger, D., Ropke, S.: A general heuristic for vehicle routing problems. Comput. Operat. Res. 34(8), 2403–2435 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Potvin, J.Y., Rousseau, J.M.: A parallel route building algorithm for the vehicle routing and scheduling problem with time windows. Eur. J. Operat. Res. 66(3), 331–340 (1993)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Prins, C.: Two memetic algorithms for heterogeneous fleet vehicle routing problems. Eng. Appl. Artif. Intell. 22(6), 916–928 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Savelsbergh, M.: The vehicle routing problem with time windows: minimizing route duration. INFORMS J. Comput. 4(2), 146–154 (1992)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shaw, P.: Using constraint programming and local search methods to solve vehicle routing problems. In: Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming—CP98. Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol. 1520, pp. 417–431 (1998)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Solomon, M.M.: Algorithms for the vehicle-routing and scheduling problems with time window constraints. Operat. Res. 35(2), 254–265 (1987)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tang, H., Miller-Hooks, E., Tomastik, R.: Scheduling technicians for planned maintenance of geographically distributed equipment. Transp. Res. Part E: Log. Transp. Rev. 43(5), 591–609 (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tsang, E., Voudouris, C.: Fast local search and guided local search and their application to British Telecom’s workforce scheduling problem. Operat. Res. Lett. 20(3), 119–127 (1997)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vidal, T., Crainic, T., Gendreau, M., Prins, C.: A hybrid genetic algorithm with adaptive diversity management for a large class of vehicle routing problems with time windows. Comput. Operat. Res. 40(1), 475–489 (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Villegas, J.G.: Vehicle routing problems with trailers. 4OR: Q. J. Operat. Res. (2012). doi: 10.1007/s10288-011-0186-4
  20. 20.
    Xu, J., Chiu, S.: Effective heuristic procedures for a field technician scheduling problem. J. Heurist. 7(5), 495–509 (2001)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.École des Mines de NantesLUNAM UniversitéNantesFrance
  2. 2.Centro para la Optimización y Probabilidad Aplicada (COPA), Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios Básicos y Aplicados en Complejidad (CEIBA), Departamento de Ingeniería IndustrialUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia
  3. 3.LISA—IUT Angers-CholetLUNAM UniversitéAngersFrance
  4. 4.Centro para la Optimización y Probabilidad Aplicada (COPA), Departamento de Ingeniería IndustrialUniversidad de los AndesBogotáColombia

Personalised recommendations