Title: Ant colony optimisation-based heuristic for a location-routing problem: a case study in parcel delivery services

Authors: Vinay V. Panicker; R. Sridharan

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kerala 673 601, India ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kerala 673 601, India

Abstract: This work focuses on solving a practical case of location-routing problem (LRP) in parcel delivery services. The work intends to determine a set of depots to be opened and design the distribution routes for a parcel delivery firm. The problem is constrained by the capacity of depots and the total delivery time available on the vehicle. Moreover, there is a homogenous fleet of vehicles visiting each customer just once, delivering their parcel(s). The objective is to minimise the total cost incurred while delivering the parcels. An ant colony optimisation (ACO)-based heuristic is proposed to solve the practical application of LRP. A computational study under three operational policies has been carried out to confirm the potentialities of the proposed heuristic in solving the problem. A comparative analysis between the solutions obtained using the proposed heuristic and the present solution adopted by the firm demonstrates the efficiency of the proposed heuristic.

Keywords: ACO; ant colony optimisation; LRP; location routing problem; logistics; case study; parcel delivery services; heuristics; depots; distribution routes; depot capacity; total delivery time; efficiency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDS.2016.075932

International Journal of Data Science, 2016 Vol.1 No.3, pp.276 - 297

Received: 21 Oct 2013
Accepted: 09 Mar 2014

Published online: 12 Apr 2016 *

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