Title: Waste collection under uncertainty: a simheuristic based on variable neighbourhood search

Authors: Aljoscha Gruler; Carlos L. Quintero-Araújo; Laura Calvet; Angel A. Juan

Addresses: IN3 – Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Open University of Catalonia, Castelldefels, Spain ' IN3 – Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Open University of Catalonia, Castelldefels, Spain; International School of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia ' IN3 – Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Open University of Catalonia, Castelldefels, Spain ' IN3 – Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications Department, Open University of Catalonia, Castelldefels, Spain

Abstract: Ongoing population growth in cities and increasing waste production has made the optimisation of urban waste management a critical task for local governments. Route planning in waste collection can be formulated as an extended version of the well-known vehicle routing problem, for which a wide range of solution methods already exist. Despite the fact that real-life applications are characterised by high uncertainty levels, most works on waste collection assume deterministic inputs. In order to partially close this literature gap, this paper first proposes a competitive metaheuristic algorithm based on a variable neighbourhood search framework for the deterministic waste collection problem. Then, this metaheuristic is extended to a simheuristic algorithm in order to deal with the stochastic problem version. This extension is achieved by integrating simulation into the metaheuristic framework, which also allows a closer risk analysis of the best-found stochastic solutions. Different computational experiments illustrate the potential of our methodology. [Received: 13 January 2016; Revised: 25 April 2016; Revised: 19 September 2016; Revised: 18 October 2016; Accepted: 25 October 2016]

Keywords: waste collection management; vehicle routing problem; VRP; risk assessment; simulation; metaheuristics; stochastic optimisation; simheuristics; uncertainty; variable neighbourhood search; cities; urban waste management; local government; simulation.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2017.083257

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2017 Vol.11 No.2, pp.228 - 255

Received: 12 Jan 2016
Accepted: 25 Oct 2016

Published online: 22 Mar 2017 *

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