Title: A successive approximations method for the heterogeneous vehicle routing problem: analysing different fleet configurations

Authors: Angel A. Juan; Javier Faulin; Jose Caceres-Cruz; Barry B. Barrios; Enoc Martinez

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication, Open University of Catalonia, 08018 Barcelona, Spain ' Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Campus Arrosadia, Public University of Navarra, Los Magnolios Building, First Floor, 31006 Pamplona, Navarre, Spain ' Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication, Open University of Catalonia, 08018 Barcelona, Spain ' Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication, Open University of Catalonia, 08018 Barcelona, Spain ' Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication, Open University of Catalonia, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: In this paper, we propose a relatively simple-to-implement procedure for solving the heterogeneous-fleet vehicle routing problem (HeVRP), in which different types of vehicle loading capacities are considered. Our approach is based on the so called successive approximations method (SAM), which is a multi-round process. At each round, a new subset of nodes and a new type of vehicle are selected following some specific criteria. Then, assuming an unlimited fleet of vehicles of this type, the associated homogeneous-fleet vehicle routing problem (HoVRP) is solved. After several rounds, a global solution for the HeVRP is obtained by merging routes from different HoVRP solutions. In the first part of the paper, we analyse how distance-based costs vary when slight deviations from the homogeneous fleet assumption are considered. In the second part of the article, the SAM approach is adapted so it can simultaneously deal with both fixed and variable costs in HeVRPs. An experimental comparison is then made with other HeVRP algorithms. [Received 12 November 2012; Revised 25 March 2013; Revised 29 June 2013; Accepted 5 July 2013]

Keywords: heterogeneous VRP; vehicle routing problem; HeVRP; successive approximations method; heuristics; sensitivity analysis; fleet composition; fleet configurations; fixed costs; variable costs; vehicle loading capacities.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2014.066934

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2014 Vol.8 No.6, pp.762 - 788

Available online: 15 Jan 2015 *

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