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A Tabu Search Heuristic for the Vehicle Routing Problem


  • Michel Gendreau

    (Centre de recherche sur les transports Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale A, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7)

  • Alain Hertz

    (Département de mathématiques, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Ecublens, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland)

  • Gilbert Laporte

    (Centre de recherche sur les transports Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale A, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3J7)


The purpose of this paper is to describe TABUROUTE, a new tabu search heuristic for the vehicle routing problem with capacity and route length restrictions. The algorithm considers a sequence of adjacent solutions obtained by repeatedly removing a vertex from its current route and reinserting it into another route. This is done by means of a generalized insertion procedure previously developed by the authors. During the course of the algorithm, infeasible solutions are allowed. Numerical tests on a set of benchmark problems indicate that tabu search out performs the best existing heuristics, and TABUROUTE often produces the best known solutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Gendreau & Alain Hertz & Gilbert Laporte, 1994. "A Tabu Search Heuristic for the Vehicle Routing Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(10), pages 1276-1290, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:40:y:1994:i:10:p:1276-1290

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