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An iterated local search algorithm for the vehicle routing problem with backhauls

  • CUERVO, Daniel Palhazi
  • GOOS, Peter
  • SÖRENSEN, Kenneth
  • ARRÁIZ, Emely

The Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhauls (VRPB) is an extension of the VRP that deals with two types of customers: the consumers (linehaul) that request goods from the depot and the suppliers (backhaul) that send goods to the depot. In this paper, we propose a simple yet e ective iterated local search algorithm for the VRPB. Its main component is an oscillating local search heuristic that has two main features. First, it explores a wide neighborhood structure at each iteration. This is eciently done using an additional data structure that stores information about the set of neighboring solutions. Second, the heuristic performs constant transitions between feasible and infeasible regions of the solution space. These transitions are regulated by a dynamic adjustment of the penalty applied to infeasible solutions. An extensive statistical analysis was carried out in order to identify the most important components of the algorithm and to properly tune the values of their parameters. The results of the computational experiments carried out show that this algorithm is very competitive in comparison to the best metaheuristic algorithms for the VRPB. Additionally, new best solutions have been found for two instances in one of the benchmark sets. Through these results, the paper shows that by expanding the exploration area and improving the eciency of the local search heuristic, it is possible to develop simpler and faster metaheuristic algorithms without compromising the quality of the solutions obtained.

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Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013010.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2013010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/

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  1. G. B. Dantzig & J. H. Ramser, 1959. "The Truck Dispatching Problem," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 6(1), pages 80-91, October.
  2. Voudouris, Christos & Tsang, Edward, 1999. "Guided local search and its application to the traveling salesman problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 469-499, March.
  3. Ropke, Stefan & Pisinger, David, 2006. "A unified heuristic for a large class of Vehicle Routing Problems with Backhauls," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 171(3), pages 750-775, June.
  4. Goetschalckx, Marc & Jacobs-Blecha, Charlotte, 1989. "The vehicle routing problem with backhauls," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 39-51, September.
  5. Potvin, Jean-Yves & Rousseau, Jean-Marc, 1993. "A parallel route building algorithm for the vehicle routing and scheduling problem with time windows," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 331-340, May.
  6. Toth, Paolo & Vigo, Daniele, 1999. "A heuristic algorithm for the symmetric and asymmetric vehicle routing problems with backhauls," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 528-543, March.
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