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A parallel matheuristic for the technician routing and scheduling problem

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. Note that we truncate the distances to one decimal, as it is common practice when solving the Solomon instances [15] with the distance minimization as solely objective.

  2. In addition, it is important to note that 7 optimal solutions were not known at the time of their study, using the same values the average gap for our approach is of  \(0.16\,\%\).

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Acknowledgments

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.

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Correspondence to A. L. Medaglia.

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Pillac, V., Guéret, C. & Medaglia, A.L. A parallel matheuristic for the technician routing and scheduling problem. Optim Lett 7, 1525–1535 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11590-012-0567-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11590-012-0567-4

Keywords

  • Vehicle routing
  • Technician routing and scheduling
  • Matheuristic
  • ALNS
  • VRPTW