Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering
This research addresses the problem of finding a minimum cost set of routes for vehicles in a road network subject to some constraints. Extensions, such as multiple service requirements, and mixed networks have been considered. Variations of this problem exist in many practical applications such as snow removal, refuse collection, mail delivery, etc. An exact algorithm was developed using integer programming to solve small size problems. Since the problem is NP-hard, a heuristic algorithm needs to be developed. An algorithm was developed based on the Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure (GRASP) heuristic, in which each replication consists of applying a construction heuristic to find feasible and good quality solutions, followed by a local search heuristic. A simulated annealing heuristic was developed to improve the solutions obtained from the construction heuristic. The best overall solution was selected from the results of several replications. The heuristic was tested on four sets of problem instances (total of 115 instances) obtained from the literature. The simulated annealing heuristic was able to achieve average improvements of up to 26.36% over the construction results on these problem instances. The results obtained with the developed heuristic were compared to the results obtained with recent heuristics developed by other authors. The developed heuristic improved the best-known solution found by other authors on 18 of the 115 instances and matched the results on 89 of those instances. It worked specially better with larger problems. The average deviations to known lower bounds for all four datasets were found to range between 0.21 and 2.61%.
Omer, Masoud, "Efficient routing of snow removal vehicles" (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4325.