Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science

No 2006/18: Combined vehicle routing and scheduling with temporal precedence and synchronization constraints

David Bredström () and Mikael Rönnqvist ()
Additional contact information
David Bredström: Dept. of Mathematics, Linköpings universitet, Postal: Department of Mathematics, Linköpings universitet, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Mikael Rönnqvist: Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Finance and Management Science, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: We present a mathematical programming model for the combined vehicle routing and scheduling problem with time windows and additional temporal constraints. The temporal constraints allow for imposing pairwise synchronization and pairwise temporal precedence between customer visits, independently of the vehicles. We describe some real world problems where the temporal constraints, in the literature, usually are remarkably simplified in the solution process, even though these constraints may significantly improve the solution quality and/or usability. We also propose an optimization based heuristic to solve real size instances. The results of numerical experiments substantiate the importance of the temporal constraints in the solution approach. We also make a computational study by comparing a direct usage of a commercial solver against the proposed heuristic where the latter approach can find high quality solutions within distinct time limits.

Keywords: Routing; Scheduling; Temporal Constraints; Synchronization; Branch and Bound

JEL-codes: C61

20 pages, December 1, 2006

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