Title: Solving the heterogeneous vehicle routing problem with time windows and multiple products via a bacterial meta-heuristic

Authors: Jaime E. Amador-Fontalvo; Carlos D. Paternina-Arboleda; Jairo R. Montoya-Torres

Addresses: Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, Universidad del Norte, km 5 vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Colombia ' Departamento de Mercadeo y Negocios Internacionales, Escuela de Negocios, Universidad del Norte, km 5 vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Colombia ' Escuela Internacional de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad de La Sabana, km 7 autopista norte de Bogotá D.C, Chía (Cundinamarca), Colombia

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to solve a variant of the vehicle routing problem with heterogeneous fleet, time windows, and multiple products (HVRPTWMP), using a novel meta-heuristic based on the behaviour of the bacteria to the stimulus of light. The meta-heuristic recreates the different processes that make a bacterium to be as close as possible to a light source, considered as the objective to reach. The problem is associated with two objectives: the minimisation of the number of vehicle and the total travelled distance. The proposed meta-heuristic was tested on instances from literature with sizes of up to 100 nodes (clients). Results show that the proposed algorithm gives good quality solutions in regard of both objective functions.

Keywords: vehicle routing problem; VRP; heterogeneous fleets; multiple products; time windows; bacterial metaheuristics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAOM.2014.059622

International Journal of Advanced Operations Management, 2014 Vol.6 No.1, pp.81 - 100

Received: 20 Jul 2013
Accepted: 29 Oct 2013

Published online: 02 Jul 2014 *

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