Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers of Business and Economics,
University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

No 8/2017: On the submodularity of multi-depot traveling salesman games

Trine Tornøe Platz ()
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Trine Tornøe Platz: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Abstract: The Steiner traveling salesman problem (STSP) is the problem of finding a minimum cost tour for a salesman that must visit a set of locations while traveling along costly streets before returning to his starting point at the depot. A solution to the problem is a minimum cost tour that both starts and ends at the depot and visits all the required locations. If different players are associated with the destinations to be visited, the STSP induces a cooperative traveling salesman (TS) game that poses the question of how to allocate the total cost of the tour between the different players involved. This cost allocation problem can be tackled using tools and solutions from cooperative games. The purpose of this paper is to generalise the notion of a traveling salesman (TS) game to allow for multiple depots in the underlying STSP and to analyse the submodularity of such multi-depot TS games. A multi-depot STSP can be represented by a connected (di)graph in which a fixed set of nodes are denoted depots, and a non-negative weight function is defined on the edges of the graph. The submodularity of multi-depot TS games is analysed by characterising graphs and digraphs that induce submodular multi-depot TS games for any position of the depots and for at least one position of the depots, respectively.

Keywords: Traveling salesman problem; cooperative game; submodularity

JEL-codes: C71

22 pages, July 6, 2017

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