A metaheuristic based on a pool of routes for the vehicle routing problem with multiple trips and time windows
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This paper studies the vehicle routing problem with multiple trips and time windows, in which vehicles are allowed to perform multiple trips during a scheduling period and each customer must be served within a given time interval. The problem is of particular importance for planning fleets of hired vehicles in common practices, such as e-grocery distributions, but this problem has received little attention in the literature. As a result of the multi-layered structure characteristic of the problem solution, we propose a pool-based metaheuristic in which various routes are first constructed to fill a pool, following which some of the routes are selected and combined to form vehicle working schedules. Finally, we conduct a series of experiments over a set of benchmark instances to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed metaheuristic.
Keywordsvehicle routing multiple trips time windows a metaheuristic based on a pool of routes
This work is partially supported by the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 70801008, 71271037, 90924006), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. DUT12JR09) and the National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 70725004). Those supports are gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank the editor and the referees for their valuable comments and suggestions that have greatly improved the quality of this paper.
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