The effects of triangle inequality on the vehicle routing problem
Routing problems often utilize experimental networks to represent real world scenarios. However most ignore the inclusion of triangle inequality violations, a phenomenon resulting from delays or rounding errors within a network. This work evaluates the effect of both frequency – the number of violations – and severity – the degree of intensity of a violation – of triangle inequality and evaluates both solution quality and solution time based on Simulated Annealing, Ant Colony Optimization and Savings Algorithm methods. Findings indicate that while both frequency and severity degrade solution quality, increased levels of frequency and severity together result in significant adverse affects to solution quality. Solution time, however, is not impacted by the presence of triangle inequality violations within the network. This information should encourage practitioners to identify delays and maintain the presence of triangle inequality violations in a network to ensure accuracy of solution quality.
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