IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article

A lookahead partitioning heuristic for a new assignment and scheduling problem in a distribution system

  • Tzur, Michal
  • Drezner, Ehud
Registered author(s):

    We introduce a new assignment and scheduling problem in a distribution system, which we refer to as the ASTV problem: Assigning and Scheduling transportation Tasks to Vehicles. In this problem, commodities need to be delivered directly from their origins to their destinations within specified time windows, using a fleet of homogenous capacitated vehicles. A set of routes, each of which performs one or several direct deliveries, need to be constructed such that the operational costs, including vehicle fixed cost, variable traveling and variable waiting costs, are minimized. The problem arises, for example, when delivering food products from several factories, where they are manufactured, to several distribution centers, from which they are delivered to the final customers. We define the problem and describe its relationship to existing problems studied in the literature, in particular pickup and delivery, assignment and scheduling problems. Subsequently we develop a solution method which is based on decomposing (partitioning) the ASTV problem into two interdependent sub-problems. The first consists of Assignment of Tasks to origin-destination full-load Trips (ATT), while the second determines assignment and Scheduling of these Trips to Vehicle routes (STV). We use a bi-criterion objective function in the first problem, whose purpose is to connect the two problems by looking ahead to the rest of the decisions, determined in the second problem. Thus, the solution method is referred to as lookahead partitioning. In this way, decisions of the first problem determine a favorable input for the second problem, which is solved last. An extensive numerical study was conducted to evaluate the performance of the overall heuristic method. The results indicate that our heuristic method is quite efficient.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 215 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 325-336

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:215:y:2011:i:2:p:325-336
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:215:y:2011:i:2:p:325-336. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.