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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/trb

and delivery extension

Emmanouil E. Zachariadis a,, Christos D. Tarantilis a, Chris T. Kiranoudis b

a

Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, Management Science Laboratory, Operations Research

& Decision Systems, 76 Patission Street, 10434 Athens, Greece

b

Department of Process Analysis and Plant Design, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The present paper examines a Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) of major practical impor-

Received 29 November 2013 tance which is referred to as the Load-Dependent VRP (LDVRP). LDVRP is applicable for

Received in revised form 3 November 2014 transportation activities where the weight of the transported cargo accounts for a signi-

Accepted 4 November 2014

cant part of the vehicle gross weight. Contrary to the basic VRP which calls for the minimi-

zation of the distance travelled, the LDVRP objective is aimed at minimizing the total

product of the distance travelled and the gross weight carried along this distance. Thus,

Keywords:

it is capable of producing sensible routing plans which take into account the variation of

Vehicle routing

Cargo weight

the cargo weight along the vehicle trips. The LDVRP objective is closely related to the total

Energy requirements energy requirements of the vehicle eet, making it a credible alternative when the environ-

Local search mental aspects of transportation activities are examined and optimized. A novel LDVRP

extension which considers simultaneous pick-up and delivery service is introduced, formu-

lated and solved for the rst time. To deal with large-scale instances of the examined prob-

lems, we propose a local-search algorithm. Towards an efcient implementation, the local-

search algorithm employs a computational scheme which calculates the complex

weighted-distance objective changes in constant time. Solution results are presented for

both problems on a variety of well-known test cases demonstrating the effectiveness of

the proposed solution approach. The structure of the obtained LDVRP and VRP solutions

is compared in pursuit of interesting conclusions on the relative suitability of the two rout-

ing models, when the decision maker must deal with the weighted distance objective. In

addition, results of a branch-and-cut procedure for small-scale instances of the LDVRP with

simultaneous pick-ups and deliveries are reported. Finally, extensive computational exper-

iments have been performed to explore the managerial implications of three key problem

characteristics, namely the deviation of customer demands, the cargo to tare weight ratio,

as well as the size of the available vehicle eet.

2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Transportation logistics play a vital role in the modern supply chain and in the overall business environment. The costs

associated with the various transportation operations represent a major part of the overall running costs of an organization,

thus effective transportation planning strongly contributes to an organizations protability, competitiveness and viability.

Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: ezach@aueb.gr (E.E. Zachariadis), tarantil@aueb.gr (C.D. Tarantilis), kyr@chemeng.ntua.gr (C.T. Kiranoudis).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trb.2014.11.004

0191-2615/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 159

To this end, great interest has been dedicated to the formulation of effective transportation models, as well as the develop-

ment of powerful optimization strategies for generating high-quality transportation plans (Laporte, 2009).

The present paper examines a vehicle routing problem variant of major practical applicability which has not yet attracted

adequate research interest. More specically, the examined problem extends the traditional objective function incorporated

in most of the vehicle routing models which calls for the minimization of the total distance travelled by the vehicles: the

examined vehicle routing problem takes into account the weight of the cargo transported along the vehicle trips. It is aimed

at minimizing the product of the distance travelled and the gross weight transported along this distance. This metric which

will be hereafter referred to as weighted distance is commonly used to measure transportation quantities. It is usually

expressed in ton-kilometers, or ton-miles. As will be later discussed, the aforementioned objective is appropriate for freight

transportation activities, where the weight of the transported cargo is a signicant contributor to the vehicle gross weight.

For such cases, the incorporated load-aware objective promotes the production of more sensible routing plans compared to

the plain distance objective functions. In addition, the weighted distance objective provides a basis for minimizing the total

energy requirements of the vehicle eet and consequently the total fuel consumption. Thus, it constitutes a reasonable

objective selection, when the environmental impact of transportation activities is taken into consideration. The purpose

of the present work is multifold. Firstly, the examined objective is integrated into the basic version of the vehicle routing

problem. A discussion with useful examples is provided to motivate the applicability of the examined model. In addition,

the present work is the rst to incorporate the cargo weight-aware objective for transportation activities which involve

simultaneous pick-up and delivery services. For this novel routing variant (LDVRPSPD), a new commodity-ow formulation

is developed and introduced. From a methodological perspective, we propose a powerful local search strategy for tackling

both the plain delivery and the simultaneous pick-up and delivery problem versions. The article also provides a computa-

tional scheme for evaluating the objective function change induced by the employed local search operators in constant time.

This contribution is aimed at helping practitioners build speedy local-search optimization frameworks for dealing with mod-

els which incorporate the more complex weighted distance objective. To assess the performance of the proposed solution

approach, runs have been conducted on several test cases taken from the literature, as well as new benchmark problems.

In addition, results of a branch-and-cut procedure are also reported for new small-scale LDVRPSPD instances of diverse char-

acteristics. The solution structures obtained for the LDVRP (LDVRPSPD) and VRP (VRPSPD) models have been compared, to

gain insight on the relative applicability of these routing models when the weighted distance is considered. Finally, we have

performed computational experiments to highlight the managerial implications of three key problem parameters, namely

the gross to tare weight ratio, the delivery (and pick-up) order deviation of the customer set, as well as the size of the vehicle

eet.

The remainder of the present work is organized as follows: Section 2 introduces the examined vehicle routing variants

and discusses their applicability. It also presents a compact formulation for the novel LDVRPSPD model. Section 3 presents

the proposed solution approach and analyzes relevant implementation issues. Then, Section 4 reports extensive computa-

tional experiments, to assess the effectiveness of the proposed optimization strategy, as well as to examine the impact of

various key characteristics of the problem to the shape of the routing solutions obtained. Finally, Section 5 concludes the

paper and offers promising future research directions.

The optimization problem examined in the present paper and referred to as LDVRP (Load Dependent VRP) is very closely

related to the standard version of the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP). Specically, the set of the constraints is exactly the

same as the one imposed by the VRP, whereas the objective function corresponds to the total product of the distance trav-

elled and the gross weight transported along this distance.

The LDVRP model is dened on a graph G = (V, A). Each arc (i, j) 2 A is associated with a predetermined travel distance cij.

The vertex set V is composed by a depot 0 and a set of n customers N (V = {0} U N). At the depot, there is a homogeneous

vehicle set K. The tare weight of each vehicle is equal to T, while the maximum carrying weight of each vehicle is denoted

by Q. Each customer i 2 N raises a product delivery order of total weight di. The aim of the LDVRP model is to design the set of

routes such that: (a) each vehicle is assigned to one route; (b) each route originates from the depot, serves customers, and

terminates at the depot; (c) each customer is visited once by exactly one route; (d) the total weight of the customer subset

visited by a single route does not exceed the vehicle capacity Q; (e) the total duration (length) of a route does not exceed an

upper bound D. The objective of the problem calls for the minimization of the product of the total distance travelled by the

vehicle routes and the gross weight travelled along this distance.

Kara et al. (2007) were the rst to introduce and solve the examined problem. In their work, the authors relate the

weighted distance objective with the energy requirements of vehicles. Similarly, Xiao et al. (2012) have also studied the

160 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

examined model. In their approach, the problem is referred to as Fuel Capacitated VRP, because again, emphasis is given on

the relation of the weighted distance metric to the fuel consumption of the vehicles. More specically, the authors provide a

statistical approach which linearly correlates the total fuel consumption of trucks to the total ton-kilometers travelled. The

present paper uses the term LDVRP to emphasize the suitability of the model for effectively managing transportation activ-

ities where the weight of the transported cargo is signicant to the gross vehicle weight, so that it strongly affects the shape

of high-quality routing plans. In these cases, the cargo weight must be explicitly included in the objective function of the

underlying optimization model. Regarding the computation of the vehicle energy requirements, more elaborate studies have

been proposed which are going to be discussed in the following.

The LDVRP model is best suited for transportation operations, where the weight of the transported cargo has a signicant

contribution to the gross truck weight. For example, the international delivery activities of industrial products, the logistics

operations of supermarkets, hardware stores and electric appliance chains, are cases for which the LDVRP model generates

more sensible transportation plans compared to basic VRP model. Consider the case illustrated in Fig. 1, which depicts a part

of a Greek supermarket network. The distribution center (Node A) is located in the northern suburbs of Athens, while three

stores are located in the cities of Korinthos (Node B), Kiato (Node C) and Patra (Node D). Regarding typical delivery orders,

Nodes B, C and D require 15, 10 and 15 pallets of products, respectively. Stores B and C are located to the south side (east-

bound side) of the E65 highway. Under the basic VRP model, the optimal route suggests that rstly node D is visited, fol-

lowed by the service of nodes C and B (499 km in total). This plan minimizes the total distance: no additional length is trav-

elled to leave the west-bound direction of the trip and rstly visit stores B and C, before heading to Node D. However, this

routing plan is deemed unacceptable for practical transportation planning purposes, where the full pallets signicantly con-

tribute to the gross weight transported. Obviously, in practical situations, the proper way to serve the aforementioned deliv-

ery orders is to implement the trip ABCDA of total distance 505 km. Indeed, it is not sensible to carry the 15 pallets of Node B

for some 250 km (segment BDB) and the 10 pallets of store C for almost 200 km (segment CDC), in order to save 6 extra km of

total travelled distance.

To illustrate the relation of the VRP and LDVRP models, we introduce parameter k equal to the maximum cargo to empty

vehicle weight ratio (k = Q/T). The k parameter practically denes the distance between LDVRP and VRP: for very low k val-

ues, the LDVRP model coincides with the VRP one. This is because in such cases, the gross weight is determined by the tare

vehicle weight and the total weighted distance travelled is solely determined by the distance travelled. On the other hand,

for high k values, the weight of the cargo carried strongly contributes to the gross weight carried. Thus, the cargo weight and

the distance travelled jointly affect the LDVRP objective. This is presented by quantifying the characteristics of the example

case of Fig. 1. Let Q = 40 tn, whereas customer demands are dB = 15 tn, dC = 10 tn and dD = 15 tn. The vehicle tare weight is

T = Q/k.

Let zVRP(S) and zLDVRP(S) denote the objective function value of a solution S for the VRP and LDVRP models, respectively.

For the two examined solutions, we have:

Fig. 1. The example network of one warehouse and three delivery locations.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 161

zLDVRP ABCDA 124 40=k 40 34 40=k 25 100 40=k 15 247 40=k 20200=k 7310;

zVRP ADCBA 247 99 29 124 499;

zLDVRP ADCBA 247 40=k 40 99 40=k 25 29 40=k 15 124 40=k 19960=k 12790:

Fig. 2 compares the solution objectives under the two examined models. Two curves are plotted: rVRP(k) = zVRP(ABCDA)/zVRP

(ADCBA), and rLDVRP = zLDVRP(ABCDA)/zLDVRP(ADCBA) against parameter k. Obviously, rVRP is independent of k and equal to

1.012 indicating that the shorter ADCBA solution is preferable under the VRP model. On the contrary, the rLDVRP indicates

that the greater the k value (the contribution of the cargo weight to the gross weight), the greater the preference to the

lengthier ABCDA under the LDVRP model. For k = 0.044 (cargo weight equal to only 4.4% of the tare weight), rLDVRP = 1 mean-

ing that the two solutions are of equal quality under LDVRP. In addition, we observe that when k = 2 (cases of very large vehi-

cles which can carry up to almost two times their tare weight: semi-trailer-trucks, bulk tankers etc.) and in respect to the

LDVRP objective, ABCDA improves the ADCBA alternative by almost 25%.

2.3. The relation of the problem with the energy requirements of vehicles

Researchers have introduced and examined a new class of vehicle routing problems which are aimed at producing envi-

ronmentally friendly transportation solutions. One of the most important objectives of these environmentally-aware models

is the minimization of the energy required for the transportation activities. This goal is closely related to the minimization of

the product of the distance travelled and the gross weight travelled along this distance. As previously mentioned, Kara et al.

(2007) directly associate this weighted distance objective to the energy required for the transportation operations involved.

Xiao et al. (2012) present a statistical analysis to demonstrate that the fuel consumed by trucks is proportionate to the total

gross ton-kilometers travelled, thus energy minimization directly calls for the minimization of the weighted distance

quantity.

Recently, more elaborate studies on energy-minimizing vehicle routing problems have been introduced in the literature

(Bektas and Laporte, 2011; Franceschetti et al., 2013; Nie and Li, 2013; Demir et al., 2014). The rst and most inuential such

study introduces the Pollution Routing Problem (PRP) (Bektas and Laporte, 2011). The authors incorporate into the vehicle

routing problem a rich objective which takes into account engineering aspects to calculate the energy requirements of

logistics operations. The authors suggest that the energy required for traversing an arc (i, j) 2 A is obtained as

PPRP

ij = aij (T + fij) cij + b vij2 cij, where fij is the cargo weight travelled along (i, j), aij = a + g sinhij + g Cr coshij (a: constant,

g: the gravitational constant equal to 9.81 m/sec2, hij: slope of the road from i to j, Cr: coefcient of rolling resistance),

b = 0.5 Cd A q (Cd: drag coefcient, A: frontal area of the truck, q: the air density) and vij the vehicle speed along the

arc (i, j) which is considered constant along the arc. This energy can be expressed as the sum of two terms:

PPRP

ij = (aij T + b vij2) cij + aij fij cij. The rst term represents the energy due to the distance travelled, while the second term

represents the energy due to both the distance travelled and the cargo weight carried. To improve presentation, let

PPRP

ij = DPRP cij + WPRP fij cij, where DPRP = (aij T + b vij2) and WPRP = aij.

The LDVRP objective along an arc (i, j) can be expressed as PLDVRP = (T + fij) cij and thus PLDVRP ij = DLDVRP cij + WLDVRP fij cij,

where DLDVRP = T and WLDVRP = 1. This implies that both the PRP energy objective and the LDVRP objective are aimed at min-

imizing the sum of two terms: one for the distance travelled, and the other for the product of the distance and the cargo

weight. Thus, both models are in pursuit of two parallel sub-objectives. The relative importance of these sub-objectives,

or in other words, their relative contribution to the overall objective function depends on several vehicle and road charac-

teristics. In addition, the difference of the relative contribution of these sub-objectives under the PRP and LDVRP models can

be regarded as the distance between these models. This distance arises from the fact that the PRP model takes into

account the energy requirements induced by the travel speed and more specically by the aerodynamic drag which is pro-

portional to the travel speed squared. Analytically, let rPRP = DPRP/WPRP and rLDVRP = DLDVRP/WLDVRP denote the relative contri-

bution of distance and weighted-distance in the objective functions of PRP and LDVRP, respectively. Then, the rPRP/rLDVRP ratio

LDVRP vs VRP

1.05

1

0.95

r_LDVRP

0.9

0.85 r_VRP

0.8

0.75

0 0.5 1 1.5 2

(maximum carrying weight / tare weight)

Fig. 2. Comparison of the LDVRP and VRP objectives against the net to gross weight ratio.

162 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

which reects the distance between the two compared models is: r = 1 + (b vij2/aij T). Obviously r depends on various fac-

tors. Among them, the most important ones are the vehicle speed and the tare vehicle weight. Fig. 3 illustrates the r ratio

against the speed vij (in km/hr) and the tare weight T (in tn), when the constants are set as proposed by Bektas and

Laporte (2011): a = 0, hij = 0, A = 5 m2, q = 1.2041 kg/m3, Cr = 0.01 and Cd = 0.7.

From Fig. 3, we observe that for heavy trucks and low speeds, the rPRP and rLDVRP ratios tend to coincide. This is because for

high T values, the impact of the gross weight is much more signicant than the speed impact so that the travel distance term

is the decisive part on both models. From the speed perspective, low speeds limit the effect of the aerodynamic drag which is

the basic difference of the two examined models. Thus, for transportation activities which involve very heavy trucks and low

speeds, the LDVRP can be seen as a model which except for sensible transportation plans, it can also provide a satisfactory

approach for minimizing the energy requirements of vehicles. We note that the latter conclusion is valid when the vehicle

speeds along the arcs cannot be treated as decision variables due to operational realities, such as limited driver time budgets,

trafc conditions and the necessity of serving demands as soon as possible.

Another important point for practitioners is that the LDVRP model objective can be easily tweaked, in order to provide a

better estimate of the eet energy requirements, as these are evaluated by the approach of Bektas and Laporte (2011): in

cases of light trucks and high speeds, the relative participation of the distance-induced objective under the LDVRP model

is signicantly weaker than that of the PRP energy objective. In other words, the r ratio is well greater than 1. Thus, to pro-

vide better energy minimization solutions, the participation of the distance sub-objective must be strengthened. This can be

achieved with the use of a coefcient c to multiply the tare vehicle weight T in the LDVRP model. To yield a similar behaviour

for the two compared models (r = 1), c = 1 + (b vij2/aij T).

In the present article, we examine the LDVRP generalization which considers that customers simultaneously require both

delivery and pick-up service (Tarantilis et al., 2013; Subramanian et al., 2013b; Tang-Montan and Galvo, 2006). Let

LDVRPSPD denote the aforementioned model. Simultaneous pick-up and delivery service implies that the vehicle load uc-

tuates along the route. Thus, higher average capacity utilization along the vehicle route is expected compared to the case of

the LDVRP model where capacity utilization monotonically decreases. Thus, the contribution of the cargo weight into the

models objective is expected to be stronger in the case of simultaneous pick-up and delivery services. Regarding the differ-

ences between the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD, the latter model assumes that with each customer i 2 N, except for the delivery

request di, there is also a pick-up request of weight equal to pi. The LDVRPSPD capacity constraints ensure that there is

no point within the generated routes where the load of the vehicles exceeds the vehicle capacity. The rest of the LDVRPSPD

characteristics are the same as in the case of LDVRP.

The LDVRPSPD is introduced in the present article for the rst time. In the following, we provide a 01 linear program-

ming model for the LDVRPSPD. It is a directed, one-commodity ow model based on the one proposed by Dell Amico et al.

(2006). Three variables are used for each problem arc: a binary variable xij equal to 1 if and only if arc (i, j) 2 A is traversed

and two non-negative continuous variables Dij and Pij corresponding to the delivery and pick-up load transported along arc (i,

j) 2 A. The objective function is based on the one proposed by Kara et al. (2007) for the Cumulative VRP extended to consider

the pick-up quantities:

X X

min cij T xij cij Pij Dij 1

i;j2A i;j2A

Fig. 3. The relation of the PRP energy and the LDVRP objective functions against speed and vehicle tare weight.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 163

Subject to:

X

xij 1; 8i 2 N 2

j2V

X

x0j 6 jKj 3

j2N

X X

xij xji ; 8i 2 V 4

j2V j2V

X X

Pij P ji pi ; 8i 2 N 5

j2V j2V

X X

Dji Dij di ; 8i 2 N 6

j2V j2V

Dij P 0; 8i; j 2 A 8

Pij P 0; 8i; j 2 A 9

Objective (1) consists of two terms, one for the vehicle tare weight and one for the load carried. Constraints (2) guarantee

that every customer will be visited exactly once, while constraints (3) ensure that no more than K routes will be generated.

Constraints (4) are ow conservation constraints on the number of vehicles, while (5) and (6) are ow conservation con-

straints on the pick-up and delivery ows, respectively. Constraints (7) correspond to the capacity constraints of the prob-

lem. Finally, (8)(10) introduce the models decision variables. As per Subramanian et al. (2010), we can dene tighter

bounds for Dij and Pij by replacing (8) and (9) with (11) and (12), respectively. In addition, the capacity constraints (7) are

replaced by the stronger constraints (13).

dj xij 6 Dij 6 Q di xij ; 8i; j 2 A 11

In the general case, where distance constraints are imposed to vehicle routes, the problem model can be extended using rela-

tions (14)(17) proposed by Waters (1988). For an arc (i, j) A, let sij denote the spare distance capacity that a vehicle has after

serving customer j. Constraints (14) ensure that spare distance capacity exists only for travelled arcs. Equations (15) initialize

the residual distance when vehicles leave the depot: after visiting the rst customer the maximal distance to be covered is

equal to the maximum distance D minus the distance travelled for visiting the rst customer of the route. Constraints (16)

ensure that every time a vehicle travels arc (i, j), its residual distance is reduced by the distance it travels. Finally, (17) intro-

duce the spare distance capacity variables.

sij 6 D xij ; 8i; j 2 A 14

X X X

skj sik xkj ckj ; 8k 2 N 16

j2V i2V j2V

sij P 0; 8i; j 2 A 17

3. Optimization methodology

The LDVRP and LDVRPSPD models generalize the basic VRP which is an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem. VRP

can be regarded as a special case of the LDVRP model when the weight of the delivery requests is insignicant to the tare

weight of vehicles, whereas VRP is a special case of the LDVRPSPD when the pick-up quantities of the customers are equal

to 0 and the weight of the delivery requests is insignicant to the tare vehicle weight. Thus, both the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD

164 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

models are NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems. To deal with large and very large-scale instances of these prob-

lems within limited computational times available for practical decision making, the interest should be focused on compu-

tationally intelligent solution strategies. In this context, we propose an effective metaheuristic solution approach.

We point out that the general structure of the proposed approach is common for both the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD models.

However, the different capacity constraints of these models raise the necessity of some minor relevant differences in the

methodological design. These differences are related to the scheme of allowing capacity violating solutions which is pre-

sented in Section 3.2.3.

The proposed optimization framework is executed in two phases. In the rst phase, a simple constructive methodology is

used to obtain an initial solution. Then, in the second phase, the core of our local-search optimization strategy is applied for

improving the initial solution obtained. In the following, we individually describe the ingredients of the proposed algorithm.

To obtain an initial solution, a simple iterative procedure is employed for inserting customers of N into the available

routes. The procedure starts off by generating |K| empty routes and by randomly selecting a seed customer. Customers

are sorted according to the angle between them, the depot and the seed customer. The procedure iteratively selects custom-

ers to be inserted into the solution. Each iteration consists of identifying the insertion position which minimizes the objec-

tive function augmentation and satises the capacity and duration constraints of the problem. After all customers have been

examined, a second step is applied to serve any customers that could not be feasibly pushed into the solution. This second

step iteratively inserts customers into the partial solution. At each iteration, the customer-insertion position pair which pri-

marily minimizes the violation of the capacity constraint and secondarily minimizes the objective function augmentation is

identied. The selected customer is pushed in the identied route position. The outcome of this constructive methodology is

a complete solution which can be either feasible or infeasible.

3.2. The local-search optimization framework for obtaining the nal solution

The proposed optimization framework is a metaheuristic local search strategy which starts off from the initial solution

obtained by the constructive method of Section 3.1 and then iteratively applies local search moves to the candidate solution,

by applying the best admissible move strategy. Three local-search operators are used (Section 3.2.1). To exhaustively eval-

uate the solution neighbourhoods, we use the Static Move Descriptor Concept (SMD), which maps local-search moves into

static entities (Section 3.2.2). In addition, an important characteristic of the algorithmic search is the exploration of infeasible

solution regions, as presented in (Section 3.2.3). To avoid cycling and induce diversication in the search, we use a diversi-

cation component explained in (Section 3.2.4). The overall local-search approach is terminated after the completion of a

given number of iterations. In the following, the basic features of the algorithm are presented, followed by a pseudocode

and a presentation of the parameter setting (Section 3.2.5). Finally, the motivation of our basic algorithmic choices is sup-

ported by experimental runs (Section 3.2.6).

3.2.1. The employed local-search operators and the corresponding move evaluation

The proposed algorithm makes use of three local-search operators (Zachariadis and Kiranoudis, 2010) widely used for

tackling vehicle routing problems: (a) customer relocation; (b) customer swap and (c) 2-opt move.

The evaluation of local search neighbourhoods (i.e. the calculation of the objective function change induced by the ten-

tative application of the local search operators) is a task repeatedly executed through a local search procedure. Thus, the

computational complexity required for evaluating these objective changes is of crucial importance, because it practically

determines the overall computational effort of a local search method.

Under the typical vehicle routing models which are aimed at minimizing the total distance travelled, the evaluation of the

objective function change induced by the aforementioned three local search operators is straightforwardly performed in con-

stant time. Let m denote a move dened by these local search operators, Em denote the set of arcs eliminated from the solu-

tion due to the application of m and Cm be the set of new arcs introduced in the solution. The objective function change

P P

caused by m is: obj(m) = i;j2C m cij i;j2Em cij . However, when the weighted distance objective is used, the objective calcu-

lation cannot be straightforwardly implemented. This is because the modication at any point of the route affects the load

travelled along the entire route, so that the objective function change is not conned in the modication point. To overcome

this difculty, we propose a computational scheme for evaluating the objective function change of the employed local

search-operators in constant time. Briey, we make use of some auxiliary arrays for the routes of the candidate solution

which allow constant time move evaluations. The proposed computational scheme is described in detail in Appendix A.

To obtain an efcient algorithmic behaviour, we use the concept of static move descriptors (SMD) for encoding tentative

local-search moves. For completeness of the present article, we briey go through the basic SMD principles. For more infor-

mation on the SMD strategy, the interested reader is referred to the work of Zachariadis and Kiranoudis (2010). Each tenta-

tive move dened by the local-search operators of Section 3.2.1 is statically encoded into an SMD instance. Apart from

mapping a particular move, this SMD instance contains a tag equal to the objective function change that this move would

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 165

cause, if it was applied to the candidate solution. Whenever a local search is applied to the candidate solution, there is no

need to re-evaluate the objective tags of all SMD instances, or in other words recalculate the objective function change

induced by all tentative local search moves. Instead, only the tags of the SMD instances which were affected by the move

application need to be re-evaluated. The SMD strategy drastically accelerates the overall methodology by avoiding unneces-

sary local search move evaluations.

Using the notation introduced in Section 3.2.1, whenever a move m is applied, a subset of the solution arcs is eliminated

from the solution (Em) and a set of new arcs (Cm) is introduced. If the distance objective is incorporated into the underlying

vehicle routing model, to keep the cost tags of the complete SMD population (of every tentative move) updated according to

the modied solution state, only the tags of the SMD instances depending on the Em and Cm arc sets have to be re-evaluated.

The cost tags of the rest SMD instances remain unaffected, thus their cost re-evaluation is unnecessary. However, this update

rule does not hold for the weighted distance objective: the effect on the objective function change is not limited to the mod-

ied arc sets, because the change of the load carried along the routes affects the objective of the entire routes. For this reason

and under the weighted distance objective, whenever a local search move m affects the set of routes Rm (|Rm| = 1 for intra-

route moves, |Rm| = 2, for inter-route moves), the SMD instances which refer to any vertex assigned to the route set Rm need

to be re-evaluated according to the modied solution state via the scheme of Section 3.2.1.

Through the search process infeasible solutions are allowed both in terms of the capacity and the duration constraints. To

control this behaviour, penalization terms are incorporated into the objective change of the tentative local search moves (Ho

and Gendreau, 2006). These penalties are proportional to the degree of violation of the capacity and duration constraints. In

addition, we have used a criterion for overriding the penalization policy, if the application of the tentative move improves

the best objective function of both feasible and infeasible solutions encountered through the search, as dictated by the sec-

ond branch of (18): Let m denote the tentative local search move applied to a solution S for generating S0 . Move m affects the

route set Rm of S to generate R0 m included in the modied solution S0 . Let z(S) be the objective function of the current can-

didate solution S and z correspond to the best objective function value of both feasible and infeasible solutions encountered

through the search process. The objective change induced by m is denoted by obj(m). The nal expression used for describing

the quality of a local search obj0 (m) move is:

0 objm q eQ m d eD m; if zS objm P z

obj m 18

objm; otherwise;

where q and d are positive penalization coefcients. In terms of eQ(m) and eD(m), they denote the change of the excess of the

capacity and duration constraints, respectively. Thus,

eQ m eQ S0 eQ S

eD m eD S0 eD S

where eQ(S) and eD(S) denote the excess of the capacity and duration constraints of a solution S. Since the move affects the

route set Rm, this excess change is limited to the routes included in Rm. The aforementioned excess quantities can be

expressed as:

X X

eQ m eQ r eQ r

r2R0m r2Rm

X X

eD m eD r eD r

r2R0m r2Rm

where eQ(r) and eD(r) denote the excess of the capacity and duration constraint of route r. Regarding the duration excess, it is

simply calculated as eD(r) = max(0, D(r) D), where D(r) corresponds to the total length of route r. The capacity constraint

excess depends on the problem under consideration. For the LDVRP model, eQ(r) = max(0, Q(r) Q), where Q(r) denotes the

total delivery quantity requested by the customers served by route r. Under the LDVRPSPD model, eQ(r) = max(0,

MaxQ(r) Q), where MaxQ(r) denotes the maximum load carried over all arcs traversed by route r.

The penalty coefcients used in (18) are updated according to a simple rule: at each main algorithmic iteration (see Sec-

tion 3.2.5), if the capacity constraints are satised, q is set to q/kQ, otherwise it is set to q kQ. Similarly, if the current solution

satises the duration constraints, d is set to d/kD, whereas if the duration constraints are violated, it is set to d kD.

The proposed local-search metaheuristic operates according to the best admissible move scheme. In other words, the solu-

tion neighbourhoods are exhaustively explored and the method selects and implements the move to the highest-quality

neighbouring solution. This criterion of move selection causes cycling to occur, when the search encounters a locally optimal

solution in respect to the employed local search operators. To overcome this limitation, the algorithm is equipped with a

diversication component which has a twofold role: it eliminates cycling around locally optimal solutions and it promotes

drastic solution modications that drive the search to diverse solution trajectories, so that a representative sample of the

solution space is explored in pursuit of a high-quality nal solution.

166 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

The proposed diversication component is based on the aspiration criteria of tabu search (Glover and Laguna, 1997) and

the attribute based-hill climber (ABHC) methodology (Derigs and Kaiser, 2007). The mechanism of our diversication com-

ponent is as follows: each time a local search move m is applied to a candidate solution S of objective value z(S), with each of

the arcs eliminated from the solution Em is associated a cost tag equal to z(S) (" a 2 Em, ta = z(S)). During future neighbour-

hood evaluations a move m0 applied to a solution S0 for obtaining S00 is considered admissible, if and only if the cost tags of all

arcs which are going to be generated by this move (Cm) are higher than the objective value of the tentative solution z(S00 ) ("

a 2 Cm, ta > z(S00 )). The proposed diversication policy effectively diversies the search. However, it induces an excessive

diversication effect leading the search process to very poor regions of the solution space. This is because good-quality

arcs tend to be associated with very low threshold tags which are difcult to be satised by the local-search moves. For this

reason, the diversication strategy is periodically re-initialized through the search process each time u iterations have been

completed.

The values of all algorithmic parameters used both for the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD are given in Table 1. Algorithm 1 pre-

sents a high-level description of the proposed metaheuristic. Both Table 1 and Algorithm 1 use the notation of the verbal

algorithm description.

2 Solution S = S0, S = null

3 double z = z(S)

4 int f = 0, itr = 0, q = 1, d = 1

5 ta = +1, " a 2 A

6 Generate the SMD instances and calculate their objective tags according to solution S

7 while (itr < trm)

8 identify Local Search Move m leading to Solution S0 such that:

9 (a) m minimizes the obj0 (m) objective (Eq. (14))

10 (b) ta > z(S0 ), " a 2 Cm

11 ta z(S), " a 2 Cm

12 S S0

13 Update the objective tags of the SMD instances that were affected by the application of Local Search Move m

14 if (eQ(S) > 0)

15 q qkQ

16 else

17 q q/kQ

18 end if

19 if (eD(S) > 0)

20 d d kD

21 else

22 d d/kD

23 end if

24 if (z(S) < z(S) AND eQ(S) == 0 AND eD(S) == 0)

25 S S

26 end if

27 if (z(S) < z)

28 z z(S)

29 end if

30 itr = itr + 1, f = f + 1

31 if (f > u)

32 f=0

33 ta = +1, "a 2 A

34 end if

35 end while

36 return S

Taking a closer look in the structure of Algorithm 1, the proposed solution method is fed with the initial solution S0 con-

structed by the heuristic of Section 3.1 (line 1). Then, a series of initialization steps are applied in lines 26: Candidate solu-

tion S is set equal to S0, while the best feasible solution S is set to null (line 2). The lowest objective function value (of both

feasible and infeasible solutions) z is initialized to z(S) (line 3). Line 4 sets counters itr and f to 0 and the penalty coefcients

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 167

Table 1

Algorithmic parameter values.

u The period (number of iterations) used for re-initializing the arc threshold tags (Section 3.2.4) n/2

kQ Parameter used for updating the capacity penalty terms 1.1

kD Parameter used for updating the duration penalty terms 1.1

trm Total number of iterations 100,000

q and d to 1.0. The cost tags of all problem arcs are initialized to +1 (line 5). To use the SMD strategy described in Section

3.2.2, we generate and store the SMD instances that exhaustively encode all tentative local-search moves. The objective tags

of these SMD instances are calculated according to candidate solution S (line 6). The main iterative cycle of the algorithm is

described in lines 735. The rst step of each iteration identies the local-search move to be applied (line 8). This local-

search move must minimize the penalized objective function (18) presented in Section 3.2.3. It must also respect the diver-

sication scheme of Section 3.2.4 (line 10). Note that the best move identication step (lines 810) is performed by exam-

ining the objective tags of the corresponding SMD instances. After the local-search move has been identied, and in line with

the proposed diversication component (Section 3.2.4), the cost tags of the arcs to be eliminated are set equal to the objec-

tive function of the current candidate solution (line 11). Then, the selected local-search move is applied (line 12), so that the

current solution S is set to S0 . The objective tags of the SMD instances affected by this move application are re-evaluated

according to the modied solution state (line 13), as described in Section 3.2.2. Lines 1423 update the penalty coefcients

q and d as per the capacity and distance feasibility status of the updated solution (Section 3.2.3). If S is feasible and improves

the best feasible solution found so far, solution S is set equal to S (lines 2426). In addition, if the objective function of S

improves the minimum objective z encountered so far, z is set equal to z(S) (lines 2729). The iterators itr and f are appro-

priately augmented (line 30). The cost tags of all problem arcs are re-initialized to +1 every u iterations, in accordance to the

proposed diversication scheme of Section 3.2.4 (lines 3134). The algorithm terminates after trm iterations by returning the

best feasible solution S (line 36).

The design of the proposed local-search approach is motivated by the successful application of the basic algorithmic

ingredients on other complex routing variants (Zachariadis et al., 2012, 2013). One important difference of the presented

approach compared to the aforementioned developments is the use of infeasibility tunneling which has been effectively used

for routing problems (Ho and Gendreau, 2006). Specically, for the examined problems, we observed that accepting infea-

sible solutions through the search managed signicant objective savings. This can be attributed to the fact that for the prob-

lems examined, the load of routes is not a feature related only to the capacity constraints of the model. On the contrary, route

load uctuations have a major impact on the objective function. Thus, giving extra freedom to the search by allowing the

generation of infeasible solutions seems to have a strong effect in the overall search behaviour. To empirically support this

observation, the following experiment was conducted: the proposed method was applied ten times on both LDVRP and

LDVRPSPD instances involving from 50 to 483 customers (see Sections 4.1.1 and 4.2.1) using two distinct schemes: the rst

one uses infeasibility tunneling as described in Section 3.2.3, whereas the second scheme accepts only feasible solutions. The

average solution scores for both algorithmic schemes are reported and compared in Table B.1 of Appendix B. Allowing infea-

sible solutions improves the average solutions scores obtained by 1.01% and 1.23% for the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD test prob-

lems, respectively. This effect is stronger for the larger-scale instances. In particular, for the LDVRP runs, we observe that the

solution improvement ranges up to 2.60% for the 200-customer G05 instance. In terms of the LDVRPSPD, the greatest average

solution improvement of 2.99% is observed for the 400-customer instance C2_4_1.

Another crucial feature of the proposed metaheuristic is the computational scheme for speedily calculating the move

costs, when the solution neighbourhoods are examined. To demonstrate the importance of this algorithmic element, the fol-

lowing experimental runs have been conducted: LDVRP and LDVRPSPD test problems (Sections 4.1.1 and 4.2.1) were solved

with and without the use of the latter scheme. Note that the use of the approach reported in Section 3.2.1, implies that each

time a local-search move is applied to the solution, the corresponding auxiliary metrics (Eq. A.2 - A.9) are calculated for the

affected routes. On the other hand, when the proposed computational scheme is disregarded, the cost evaluation of each

move is done by identifying the routes to be generated and calculating the corresponding objective functions from scratch.

Obviously, in the latter case, the auxiliary route metrics are not used and thus not computed. For both algorithmic cong-

urations, one run was applied per problem instance. The total computational times required are reported and compared in

Table B.2 of Appendix B. We can see that the constant time objective change scheme drastically reduces the required com-

putational times. The average speed-ups are 3.8 and 3.6 for the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD, respectively. Another important

observation pertains on the speed-up factors dependence on the average number of customers per route. The required com-

plexity for calculating the tentative route objective from scratch is linearly related to the number of customers contained in

this route. Thus, the greater the number of customers per route, the greater the acceleration effect of the proposed compu-

tational scheme. In specic, the strongest acceleration effect was observed for the R2_2_1 and the G04 instances which

168 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

involve 40 and 48 customers per route, respectively. For the latter test problems, the speed-up factors are almost one order

of magnitude (speed-up factors: 8.8 and 8.1, respectively).

4. Results

In the present Section, we report the results of extensive algorithmic tests performed for evaluating the effectiveness of

the proposed solution approach and for investigating some key parameters of the LDVRP and LDVRPSPD models. The pro-

posed solution approach, hereafter referred to as Local Search-Load Dependent (LS-LD), was coded in C# and executed on

a computer system equipped with an Intel i53470 processor (3.2 GHz) and 4 GB of RAM. Note that all benchmark problems

and analytic solutions obtained are available at http://users.ntua.gr/ezach.

In the present paragraph, we rstly describe the LDVRP benchmark instances. Then, computational results of our pro-

posed metaheuristic are reported and comparisons with relevant previously published methodologies are given. Finally, fur-

ther experiments that investigate the role of the cargo to tare weight ratio, the customer demand variability and the vehicle

availability are presented.

To have a comparison basis for the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, we have solved the benchmark instances

used by Xiao et al. (2012). These instances are presented in Table 2 and are derived from the Christodes et al. (1979) CVRP

test problems and the large-scale CVRP instances of Golden et al. (1998). The LDVRP objective is equal to the product of the

P P P

distance travelled and the gross weight carried along this distance: i;j2S cij g ij i;j2S cij T i;j2S cij f ij , where gij is the gross

weight carried along arc (i, j) and (i, j) 2 S denotes that (i, j) is used in solution S. The objective can be expressed as:

P P

zS i;j2S cij i;j2S cij f ij =T. Let f0 ij = fij/Q denote the capacity utilization along arc (i, j), so that

P P 0 P P 0

zS i;j2S cij i;j2S cij f ij Q =T i;j2S cij k i;j2S cij f ij , where k = Q/T. Xiao et al. (2012) have used k = 1 which is typical

for inter-city transportation operations.

The proposed solution approach was applied 10 times on each of the 27 problem instances also solved by Xiao et al.

(2012) and Vidal et al. (2014). The obtained results are summarized in Table 3. More specically, Table 3 is organized in three

column groups, one for each method: LS-LD, XZKX: the method of Xiao et al. (2012) and UHGS: the solution framework of

Vidal et al. (2014). Each column group contains the average and best solution values over the 10 runs. The proposed method

seems rather stable as the gap between the best and average solution values averages at a satisfactory 0.36%. Both the aver-

age and best solution scores achieved by LS-LD improve the corresponding scores achieved by XZKX by 1.16% and 0.92%,

respectively. An interesting observation is related to the fact that the average XZKX solution improvement managed by

Table 2

The LDVRP benchmark instances.

Instance n |K| Dt Q D Instance n |K| Dt Q D

C1 50 5 777 160 +1 G01 240 9 4800 550 650

C2 75 11 1364 140 +1 G02 320 10 6400 700 900

C3 100 8 1458 200 +1 G03 400 10 8000 900 1200

C4 150 13 2235 200 +1 G04 480 10 9600 1000 1600

C5 199 18 3186 200 +1 G05 200 5 4000 900 1800

C11 120 8 1375 200 +1 G06 280 7 5600 900 1500

C12 100 11 1810 200 +1 G07 360 9 7200 900 1300

G08 440 10 8800 900 1200

G09 255 15 13,429 1000 +1

G10 323 18 15,195 1000 +1

G11 399 20 16,980 1000 +1

G12 483 21 18,701 1000 +1

G13 252 26 25,136 1000 +1

G14 320 30 28,672 1000 +1

G15 396 36 32,244 1000 +1

G16 480 40 35,772 1000 +1

G17 240 22 4320 200 +1

G18 300 30 5400 200 +1

G19 360 36 6480 200 +1

G20 420 40 7560 200 +1

P

n: number of customers |K|: number of available vehicles Dt: total delivery quantity (Qt = i2N qi ) Q: vehicle capacity D: maximum route duration.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 169

Table 3

Assessing the obtained LDVRP solution scores.

Instance bst Avg %gap v bst %bst Avg %avg bst Avg

C1 751.11 751.11 0.00 5 751.11 0.00 751.43 0.04 746.39 746.39

C2 1172.62 1172.62 0.00 10 1179.53 0.59 1188.62 1.35 1172.62 1172.62

C3 1147.83 1147.83 0.00 8 1147.83 0.00 1153.56 0.50 1147.83 1147.83

C4 1446.64 1446.64 0.00 12 1452.88 0.43 1461.69 1.03 1446.64 1446.64

C5 1837.11 1844.30 0.39 17 1844.87 0.42 1865.30 1.13 1834.31 1840.54

C11 1511.99 1511.99 0.00 8 1513.48 0.10 1516.42 0.29 1511.99 1511.99

C12 1174.02 1174.02 0.00 10 1174.02 0.00 1175.59 0.13 1174.02 1174.02

Avg CPU time (min) 2.27 1.3 2.34

G01 7667.28 7688.80 0.28 9 7683.95 0.22 7714.29 0.33 7660.64 7661.10

G02 11149.32 11152.48 0.03 10 11172.71 0.21 11195.02 0.38 11148.74 11178.93

G03 14483.78 14606.87 0.85 10 14497.64 0.10 14566.73 -0.28 14480.67 14525.36

G04 18237.52 18612.11 2.05 10 18327.03 0.49 18605.37 -0.04 18206.84 18225.56

G05 8561.53 8649.78 1.03 5 8561.53 0.00 8576.91 -0.85 8457.60 8457.61

G06 11097.93 11277.76 1.62 7 11102.22 0.04 11121.04 -1.41 11056.47 11056.72

G07 13392.93 13392.93 0.00 9 13422.16 0.22 13477.07 0.62 13392.93 13408.06

G08 15922.51 16068.35 0.92 10 15928.26 0.04 16098.60 0.19 15491.34 15538.15

G09 835.91 837.97 0.25 14 850.80 1.75 858.34 2.37 834.73 835.55

G10 1062.40 1064.55 0.20 16 1083.00 1.90 1090.85 2.41 1061.36 1062.66

G11 1319.89 1321.75 0.14 18 1352.32 2.40 1360.20 2.83 1316.59 1319.47

G12 1598.94 1601.97 0.19 19 1630.81 1.95 1661.07 3.56 1596.68 1599.59

G13 1234.45 1237.35 0.23 26 1261.93 2.18 1269.37 2.52 1232.99 1235.32

G14 1566.61 1568.74 0.14 30 1595.48 1.81 1604.83 2.25 1562.73 1564.18

G15 1937.22 1940.65 0.18 34 1970.43 1.69 1987.76 2.37 1930.84 1934.13

G16 2341.53 2346.65 0.22 37 2391.12 2.07 2408.72 2.58 2337.60 2340.21

G17 1018.02 1019.63 0.16 22 1027.21 0.89 1033.88 1.38 1018.02 1018.17

G18 1437.10 1445.34 0.57 27 1462.31 1.72 1469.97 1.68 1435.34 1440.00

G19 1971.76 1974.16 0.12 33 2007.62 1.79 2014.26 1.99 1966.77 1967.85

G20 2637.50 2642.68 0.20 39 2687.85 1.87 2699.29 2.10 2621.48 2626.61

Avg CPU time (min) 19.04 3.3 23.81

Average 0.36 0.92 1.16

LS-LD: The proposed solution approach XZKX: The method of Xiao et al. (2012) UHGS: The method of Vidal et al. (2014) bst: the best solution score

obtained over ten runs avg: the average solution score obtained over ten runs %gap: the percent gap between the avg and bst scores obtained by LS-LD

v: the number of routes in the best LS-LD solution %bst: the percent gap between the bst values of LS-LD and XZKX %avg: the percent gap between the

avg values of LS-LD and XZKX.

Note: %avg and %bst are evaluated as 100 (XZKX-LS-LD)/XZKX.

LS-LD for the distance-constrained problems G01-G08 is 0.16% which is signicantly lower than the improvement achieved

for the non-constrained large-scale test cases (1.84%). This is attributed to the fact that for the distance-constrained

instances, the solution shape is primarily determined by the route distance limit. Thus, the solutions are not allowed to move

towards lower weighted distance objectives, at the expense of additional travelled distance. Analytic comparisons between

our solution values and the UHGS ones are problematic due to the different handling of vehicle availability: Xiao et al. (2012)

who were the rst to solve the LDVRP instances informed us that they considered limited vehicle availability (|K| values

reported in Table 2). On the contrary, the UHGS results were obtained by treating the eet size as a decision variable. This

is why in Table 3, no individual percent gaps between the LS-LD and UHGS scores are reported. Setting aside this inconsis-

tency, LS-LD scores are also comparable to the ones produced by the highly effective UHGS method. Our average solution

scores are 0.53% worse than the UHGS ones. Regarding the best solutions obtained by the two methods, LS-LD scores are

0.29% higher than those obtained by UHGS. In terms of the CPU times, we report two separate average values for the two

instance groups of Christodes (1979) and Golden (1998). The XZKX method appears to be signicantly faster than LS-LD

and UHGS, although executed on a slower processor. More specically, the average CPU times required by XZKX are

1.3 min and 3.3 min for the Christodes (1979) and Golden (1998) instances, respectively. On average, our methodology

requires 2.27 min per run for the Christodes (1979) instances, while for the large-scale problems of Golden (1998), the

aforementioned CPU time is 19.04 min. Similar CPU run times were reported for the UHGS method: the average CPU time

required by UHGS for the instances of Christodes (1979) is 2.34 min, while for the Golden (1998) instances the required

run time is equal to 23.81 min.

In Table 4, the best solutions obtained for the 27 test cases under the LDVRP model are compared to the solutions

obtained for the basic VRP model (i.e. setting k = 0). To do so, we have applied the LS-LD methodology 10 times on each

of the 27 problems using k = 0. The LDVRP and VRP solutions are compared in terms of the total distance covered and the

total weighted distance travelled. At this point, we would like to note that a VRP solution can be considered symmetric

(if a symmetric distance matrix is used) in the sense that the routes involved can be reversed without changing the VRP

objective, i.e. the total distance travelled. However, the weighted distance objective is modied. For this reason, the reported

170 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

Table 4

Comparison of the solutions obtained for the LDVRP and VRP models.

v D WD BKS %bks v D WD %D %WD %arcs

C1 5 524.61 764.59 524.61 0.00 5 536.88 751.11 2.34 1.76 56.4

C2 10 835.26 1203.40 835.26 0.00 10 851.40 1172.62 1.93 2.56 38.8

C3 8 826.14 1190.46 826.14 0.00 8 850.34 1147.83 2.93 3.58 71.3

C4 12 1028.42 1493.47 1028.42 0.00 12 1053.33 1446.64 2.42 3.14 59.9

C5 17 1294.15 1887.96 1291.29 0.22 17 1328.26 1837.11 2.64 2.69 53.7

C11 7 1042.12 1529.46 1042.11 0.00 8 1052.73 1511.99 1.02 1.14 30.5

C12 10 819.56 1184.64 819.56 0.00 10 827.05 1174.02 0.91 0.90 40.9

G01 9 5626.81 8127.22 5623.47 0.06 9 5703.53 7667.28 1.36 5.66 78.7

G02 10 8430.37 12134.16 8404.61 0.31 10 8495.00 11149.32 0.77 8.12 73.6

G03 10 11043.41 15409.13 11036.22 0.07 10 11085.23 14483.78 0.38 6.01 43.2

G04 10 13631.71 19938.14 13592.88 0.29 10 13671.60 18237.52 0.29 8.53 42.2

G05 5 6460.98 8722.37 6460.98 0.00 5 6460.98 8561.53 0.00 1.84 97.1

G06 7 8414.28 11584.96 8412.88 0.02 7 8463.15 11097.93 0.58 4.20 32.1

G07 8 10147.65 14862.14 10102.70 0.44 9 10242.65 13392.93 0.94 9.89 66.1

G08 10 11663.55 16920.29 11635.30 0.24 10 11816.32 15922.51 1.31 5.90 65.8

G09 14 583.92 862.23 579.71 0.73 14 606.22 835.91 3.82 3.05 59.9

G10 16 742.93 1096.09 736.26 0.91 16 765.35 1062.40 3.02 3.07 59.6

G11 18 918.53 1360.43 912.84 0.62 18 947.41 1319.89 3.14 2.98 74.3

G12 19 1112.49 1646.26 1102.69 0.89 19 1155.76 1598.94 3.89 2.87 71.3

G13 26 861.42 1252.68 857.19 0.49 26 879.22 1234.45 2.07 1.46 68.3

G14 30 1084.65 1595.67 1080.55 0.38 30 1129.40 1566.61 4.13 1.82 64.0

G15 33 1344.86 1975.67 1337.92 0.52 34 1392.50 1937.22 3.54 1.95 66.7

G16 37 1627.08 2401.20 1612.50 0.90 37 1680.01 2341.53 3.25 2.49 75.0

G17 22 708.16 1041.32 707.76 0.06 22 714.05 1018.02 0.83 2.24 47.3

G18 27 1002.55 1473.09 995.13 0.75 27 1013.24 1437.10 1.07 2.44 75.5

G19 33 1373.00 2015.91 1365.60 0.54 33 1396.89 1971.76 1.74 2.19 73.5

G20 38 1839.23 2706.21 1818.32 1.15 39 1875.36 2637.50 1.96 2.54 64.9

0.35 1.94 3.52 61.1

VRP: Column group that refers to the best solutions achieved by LS-LD for the VRP model LDVRP: Column group that refers to the best solutions achieved

by LS-LD for the LDVRP model v: Number of routes D: Distance Travelled WD: Weighted Distance Travelled %D: Percent gap of the distance travelled

between the best VRP and LDVRP solutions (=100(LDVRP-VRP)/VRP) %WD: Percent gap of the weighted distance travelled between the best VRP and

LDVRP solutions (=100(VRP-LDVRP)/VRP) %arcs: Percentage of the uncommon arcs included in the VRP and LDVRP solutions BKS: Best known VRP

solution score, as per Subramanian et al. (2013a) %bks: Percent Deviation between the distance of the best LS-LD VRP solution and the BKS solution score

(=100(D-BKS)/BKS).

weighted distance objective for the obtained VRP solutions has been obtained as follows: for every route contained in the

solution, we have calculated the weighted distance objective of this route and its reversal. The minimum of these values

is assigned to the route examined. Obviously, the solution objective is set equal to the total weighted distance objective over

the solution routes.

From the contents of Table 4, we can see that the solutions structures obtained under the VRP and LDVRP models have

signicant differences: The best LDVRP solutions improve the weighted objective of the VRP solutions from 0.90% to 9.89%.

On average, the weighted distance reduction is 3.52%. From the perspective of the distance objective, the average additional

travel distance of the LDVRP solutions compared to the VRP ones is 1.94%. In addition, 61.1% of the arcs contained in the

LDVRP solutions are not included in the VRP ones. From the managerial perspective, this signicant difference between

the best VRP and LDVRP solution structures is of crucial importance: it indicates that when the ton-kilometers of the trans-

portation system should be minimized, the VRP model may promote poor decision making. On the contrary, the LDVRP

which takes into account the change of the cargo weight along the vehicle trips leads to the generation of different and more

effective transportation plans. Table 4 also compares the best VRP solutions obtained by LS-LD to the best known solution

scores reported in the literature. We observe that very competitive solution scores were obtained. More specically, the pro-

posed algorithm matched seven of the best known VRP solution scores. On average, the LS-LD objective values were 0.35%

worse than the best known ones.

The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm allows us to use it as a tool to empirically examine the role of three key

parameters of the LDVRP model. These attributes are: (a) the cargo to tare weight ratio k = Q/T, (b) the deviation of customer

delivery requests, (c) the number of available vehicles. To investigate the role of the aforementioned characteristics, a series

of instances were constructed and solved via LS-LD. More specically, these instances were derived from the six LDVRP

benchmark instances of Christodes et al. (1979) for which n 6 120. We have selected the rather small instances, in order

to have condence on the high-quality of the solutions produced and thus appropriately evaluate the role of the aforemen-

tioned model characteristics. For these six VRP instances, ve different demand deviation classes were examined: DD-2, DD-

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 171

Table 5

The LDVRP benchmark instances grouped by the ve demand deviation classes.

SDD SDD SDD SDD SDD

C1 50 5 777 5.72 6.75 8.06 10.30 12.11

C2 75 10 1364 5.58 6.59 7.96 10.08 11.72

C3 100 8 1458 6.17 7.35 8.87 10.99 12.74

C4 150 12 2235 5.96 7.12 8.59 10.74 12.45

C11 120 7 1375 3.69 4.56 5.38 6.87 8.15

C12 100 10 1810 7.22 8.72 10.42 13.33 16.02

P

n: number of customers |K|: number of available vehicles (VC0) Qt: total delivery quantity (Qt = i2N qi ) SDD: standard deviation of delivery orders.

6 6 6

5 5 5

4 4 4

% Deviaon

% Deviaon

% Deviaon

3 3 3

2 2 2

1 1 1

0 0 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2

LENGTH INCREASE WEIGHTED DISTANCE DECREASE

Fig. 4. Comparison of VRP and LDVRP solutions against the cargo to weight ratio.

1, DD0, DD + 1 and DD + 2. DD0 corresponds to the original instances presented in Table 2. The rest four demand deviation

classes have been generated heuristically so that the deviation of the delivery series is modied and the total delivery

demand remains the same. In addition, we have tried to preserve the relative demand levels of customers as close to the

original instance as possible. As a result, 30 (6 original graphs 5 demand deviation classes) test problem graphs were used

(see Table 5). For these 30 instances we have used ve k values taken from {0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2}. As already mentioned, k = 0

corresponds to pure VRP cases where the cargo weight is insignicant compared to the tare vehicle weight, while k = 2 arises

in cases of heavy-duty transportation. Finally, in terms of the number of available vehicles, three vehicle classes were used,

namely VC0, VC1, VC2. VC0 corresponds to the number of routes included in the best VRP solutions reported in Table 4, while

for the VC1 and VC2 classes this number is augmented by 1 and 2, respectively. Thus, in total 450 problem instances are

solved (30 graphs 5 demand deviation classes 3 vehicle classes). The results obtained are summarized in the Appendix

C Tables C.1, C.2 and C.3, for vehicle classes VC0, VC1 and VC2, respectively. Analytic solution scores are provided in Tables

C.4, C.5 and C.6 of Appendix C.

4.1.3.1. The role of the cargo to tare ratio. The cargo to tare weight ratio is a crucial parameter for the LDVRP model and the

solution structures produced. The grater the k value, the lengthier the solutions produced by considering the LDVRP objective

and the greater the weighted distance savings of the LDVRP solutions. Fig. 4 presents both the percent gap between the aug-

mentation of the distance and the reduction of the weighted distance of the best LDVRP solutions over the VRP ones.

4.1.3.2. The role of the demand deviation. Fig. 5 compares the weighted distance objective savings managed by the best LDVRP

solutions over the VRP ones against the demand deviation of the graphs involved. Note that these comparisons are only

indicative: due to the fact that different demand congurations have been used, the capacity constraints involved in the ve

instance versions are different and thus the solution objectives cannot be directly compared. From Fig. 5, we observe the fol-

lowing tendency: As expected, the higher the demand deviation, the higher the weighted distance savings achieved by the

consideration of the LDVRP model. In other words, when the cargo weight has an important contribution to the overall objec-

tive, the higher the deviation of the required customer quantities, the stronger the effectiveness of the LDVRP model on min-

imizing the weighted distance objective.

4.1.3.3. The role of the number of available vehicles. The number of available vehicles appears to have an important role in the

shape of the LDVRP solutions. Signicant weighted objective savings can be achieved via the use of additional vehicles. Fig. 6

provides two charts which summarize the ndings of the VC2 class. More specically, it illustrates the average number of

vehicles required by the best LDVRP solutions achieved for the 30 examined test cases against the k ratio. We observe that

the higher the k value, the higher the number of routes contained in the LDVRP solutions. In addition, Fig. 6 shows how many

172 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

VC 0 VC 1 VC 2

7.00 8.00 8.00

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

6.00 6.00

5.00

5.00 5.00

4.00

4.00 4.00

3.00

3.00 3.00

2.00

2.00 2.00

DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2

= 0.5 =1 =1.5 =2

Fig. 5. The effect of the demand deviation on the weighted distance savings achieved by the LDVRP model compared to the basic VRP.

9.5 30

9.4

25

9.3

9.2 20

#Soluons

#Routes

9.1 k+2

15

9.0

k+1

8.9 10

8.8 k

5

8.7

8.6 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.50 2

Fig. 6. The number of LDVRP routes against the cargo to tare weight ratio.

of these 30 best solutions made use of no, one and two extra vehicles in respect to the smallest vehicle number of VC0. Note

also that the use of extra vehicles achieves stronger weighted distance savings of the LDVRP model compared to the VRP one.

This is illustrated in Fig. 4: the weighted distance gap between the LDVRP and VRP solutions are up to 4.80% (k = 2) for VC0,

while for the VC2 class, the use of the extra vehicles makes the aforementioned gap equal to 5.64% (k = 2).

In the following, a description of the newly constructed LDVRPSPD benchmark instances is given. Then, we present a

branch-and-cut method together with obtained computational results on small-scale LDVRPSPD problems. Our metaheuris-

tic methodology is tested on larger test problems and comparisons are made against best known solution scores for the

VRPSPD model. Finally, we examine the effect of the cargo to tare weight ratio, the customer order variability and the size

of the vehicle eet on the LDVRPSPD solution structures.

Computational experiments have been conducted on three sets of LDVRPSPD instances: (i) a series of new small-scale

LDVRPSPD instances, (ii) the 18 VRPSPD test problems of Tang-Montan and Galvo (2006) (denoted as TMG) and (iii) a

set of new LDVRPSPD instances specially designed to promote vehicle load peaks to occur in the middle of the generated

routes (denoted as MDL).

As far as the small-scale instances are concerned, they are derived from the 100-customer VRPSPD instances c101 and

r101 (Tang-Montan and Galvo, 2006), by randomly selecting customer subsets. More specically, for each of these test

problems, four problem graphs were created by randomly selecting 20, 30, 40 and 50 customers. Note that for the graphs

derived from the clustered problem c101, customers were selected in forms of complete or partial clusters to maintain

the clustered nature of the instance. On the other hand, graphs derived from the uniformly distributed r101 problem were

generated by randomly picking customers one by one. For each of the eight problem graphs, two customer demand cong-

urations were examined: the rst one (S) corresponds to the original demand values contained in the original instances,

while the second one (S-M) has been specially designed to promote the vehicle load to be maximized in the middle of

the generated routes (not at depot-adjacent arcs). The latter conguration was used to ensure that the proposed solution

approach behaves effectively when the vehicle load strongly uctuates along the customer visit pattern.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 173

Table 6

The LDVRPSPD benchmark instances.

Instance n |K| Q Dt Pt Instance n |K| Q Dt Pt Instance n |K| Q Dt Pt

S-20-c101 20 4 310 630 200 r101 100 12 1458 2339 200 ld-50 50 6 5000 5000 1000

S-30-c101 30 5 440 840 200 r201 100 3 1458 2262 1000 ld-60 60 7 6000 6000 1000

S-40-c101 40 7 690 1190 200 c101 100 16 1810 3070 200 ld-70 70 8 7000 7000 1000

S-50-c101 50 9 770 1560 200 c201 100 5 1810 2910 700 ld-80 80 9 8000 8000 1000

S-20-r101 20 3 322 466 200 rc101 100 10 1724 1912 200 ld-90 90 10 9000 9000 1000

S-30-r101 30 5 440 751 200 rc201 100 3 1724 2076 1000 ld-100 100 11 10,000 10,000 1000

S-40-r101 40 6 615 1009 200 R1_2_1 200 23 3513 4406 200

S-50-r101 50 7 705 1248 200 R2_2_1 200 5 3513 4358 1000

S-M-20-c101 20 4 630 630 200 C1_2_1 200 28 3530 5370 200

S-M-30-c101 30 5 840 840 200 C2_2_1 200 9 3770 6010 700

S-M-40-c101 40 7 1190 1190 200 RC1_2_1 200 23 3558 4473 200

S-M-50-c101 50 10 1560 1560 200 RC2_2_1 200 5 3558 4299 1000

S-M-20-r101 20 3 466 466 200 R1_4_1 400 54 7109 10,433 200

S-M-30-r101 30 5 751 751 200 R2_4_1 400 10 7109 9571 1000

S-M-40-r101 40 7 1009 1009 200 C1_4_1 400 63 7190 12,470 200

S-M-50-r101 50 9 1248 1248 200 C2_4_1 400 15 7560 10,050 700

RC1_4_1 400 52 7127 10,065 200

RC2_4_1 400 11 7127 10,100 1000

P P

n: number of customers |K|: number of available vehicles Dt: total delivery quantity (Dt = i2N di ) Pt: total pick-up quantity (Pt = i2N pi ).

The second set of test problems is derived from the 18 VRPSPD test problems of Tang-Montan and Galvo (2006). These

instances involve from 100 to 400 customers. The number of available vehicles |K| is set to the number of routes of the best

known VRPSPD solutions (Subramanian et al., 2013a).

The third set of test problems contains six LDVRPSPD instances, involving from 50 to 100 customers. For these problems,

customer (x, y) co-ordinates are uniformly distributed in [1, 100], while the depot vertex was placed at (x, y) = (25, 25). The

customer demands for these new LDVRPSPD instances were appropriately set to promote the maximization of the vehicle

load in the intermediate parts of the generated routes. The latter problems were generated to test both the algorithm effec-

tiveness and the LDVRPSPD model characteristics, in cases where the load is maximized at non depot-adjacent arcs.

For all three sets of LDVRPSPD problems, the objective function used corresponds to the one used for the LDVRP:

P P 0 P P 0

zS i;j2S cij i;j2S cij f ij Q =T i;j2S cij k i;j2S cij f ij , where (i, j) e S denotes that (i, j) is travelled in solution S and

k = 1 (see 4.1.1). The characteristics of all LDVRSPD data sets are presented in Table 6.

We have evaluated the effectiveness of our metaheuristic solution approach, by applying a branch-and-cut (B&C) algo-

rithm to the formulation presented in Section 2.4, for the small-scale instances involving up to 50 customers. Note that these

test problems do not impose route duration limitations, so that constraints (14)(17) were disregarded. Rounded capacity

P P P P

inequalities (RCI) i2S j2V nS xij xji P 2rS; S # Vf0g; S , where rS max i2S di ; i2S pi =Q corresponds to the min-

imal number of vehicles required for the customer subset S, were used. The relevant separation problem was tackled via the

Tabu-Search (TS) heuristic of Augerat et al. (1998). After some preliminary runs, the TS method was set to be applied six

times per separation problem, whereas the maximum number of the TS interchange iterations was set to ve. No limit

was imposed on the total number of RCI per separation problem. However, we have used a cut management scheme which

does not allow duplicate cut generations and ensures that only the strongest cuts are introduced into the LP relaxation.

In addition, some local-scope inequalities were conditionally incorporated into the underlying model. They are dened

for fully-formed paths (chains), i.e. sets of consecutively joint arcs C = {(i, j): xij = 1} augmented by adjacent fractional arcs

(Gounaris et al., 2011). These paths can be identied by examining the structure of the relaxation solution at each B&C node.

Let C denote a fully-formed chain which consists of |C| customers, whereas y and z denote the rst and last customer of chain

C, respectively. In addition, let PC and Dc denote the total pick-up and delivery demand of the customers contained in C.

Finally, let LC denote the peak vehicle load, if chain C is served alone in a route. The local-scope inequalities are as follows:

X

xzy xij 6 jCj 1 19

i;j2C

X

xky xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; P c pk > Q 20

i;j2C

X

xzk xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; P c pk > Q 21

i;j2C

174 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

X

xky xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; Dc dk > Q 22

i;j2C

X

xzk xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; Dc dk > Q 23

i;j2C

X

xky xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; Lc pk > Q 24

i;j2C

X

xzk xij 6 jCj 1; 8k 2 N n C; Lc dk > Q 25

i;j2C

!

X

Pzk P PC xzk xij jCj 1 ; 8k 2 N n C 26

i;j2C

!

X

Dky P DC xky xij jCj 1 ; 8k 2 N n C 27

i;j2C

The local-scope sub-tour elimination constraints (19) guarantee that z is not linked to y. Regarding the local-scope capacity

constraints (20)(23), they make sure that the chain is not connected to any customer, if the total pick-up or delivery

demand of the augmented chain violates the vehicle capacity. Based on the pick-up and delivery requirement of the exam-

ined model, an additional type of capacity constraints can be imposed to ensure that the vehicle load may not exceed the

capacity along the chain: (24) guarantee that no customer k, for which LC + pk > Q, may precede chain C, because due to

the pick-up demand of this customer, the augmented peak load would violate the vehicle capacity. Accordingly, (25) ensure

that no customer k, such that LC + dk > Q, may succeed chain C, because due to the delivery request of this customer, the aug-

mented peak load would exceed the capacity. Note that when the peak load corresponds to either the rst or the last chain

arc (it is not in the middle of the chain), constraints (24), (25) are covered by constraints (20)(23). Finally, the local-scope

ow-lifting inequalities (26) and (27) make sure that the ow entering or leaving any customer k connected to the chain is

enough for covering the chain pick-up and delivery demands, respectively.

The developed B&C procedure was executed using the CPLEX 12.5 callable library, whereas the capacity separation and

local-scope constraint generation procedures were coded in C#. The B&C algorithm ran on an Intel i53470 processor

(3.2 GHz) and executed until a CPU bound of 5 h was reached. Strong branching on variables was used, whereas nodes were

Table 7

Summary of the LS-LD and B&C methods for the small-scale LDVRPSPD benchmark instances.

avg bst mdl t RootLB #Nodes B&C_t LB %Opt

S-20-c101 269.52 269.52 0.0 0.1 264.26 121 5.4 269.52 0.00

S-30-c101 370.99 370.99 0.0 0.1 361.87 467 61.2 370.99 0.00

S-40-c101 685.95 685.95 0.0 0.3 672.72 914 346.4 685.95 0.00

S-50-c101 974.14 974.14 0.0 1.6 941.87 3828 18,000.6 964.04 1.04

avg 0.26

S-20-r101 482.84 482.84 0.0 0.1 458.07 50 5.0 482.84 0.00

S-30-r101 724.13 724.13 0.0 0.4 660.82 2294 18,000.4 705.33 2.60

S-40-r101 897.80 897.80 0.0 0.8 822.35 2223 18,004.5 865.53 3.59

S-50-r101 1037.76 1037.76 0.0 5.2 954.57 2163 18,000.8 987.53 4.84

avg 2.76

S-M-20-c101 302.33 302.33 75.0 0.1 299.68 160 10.5 302.33 0.00

S-M-30-c101 453.36 453.36 60.0 0.4 425.50 5547 18,000.1 444.73 1.90

S-M-40-c101 758.90 758.90 42.9 0.7 735.15 12,011 18,001.8 755.87 0.40

S-M-50-c101 1121.03 1121.03 30.0 2.0 1067.30 2780 18,002.0 1092.85 2.51

avg 1.20

S-M-20-r101 529.59 529.59 66.7 0.1 490.94 177 17.6 529.59 0.00

S-M-30-r101 791.98 791.98 60.0 0.3 712.15 3699 18,002.9 772.96 2.40

S-M-40-r101 999.54 999.54 28.6 1.0 915.78 2637 18,000.1 966.31 3.32

S-M-50-r101 1158.75 1158.75 44.4 2.9 1048.39 1755 18,000.5 1080.14 6.78

avg 3.13

avg: the average solution score obtained over ten LS-LD runs bst: the best solution score obtained over ten LS-LD runs mdl: percent of routes (in the bst

solution) with maximal load at depot-adjacent arcs t: the average time required by LS-LD for generating the nal solutions over the ten runs (sec) Root

LB: lower bound at the root node #Nodes: number of B&C nodes explored B&C_t: total time required by the B&C procedure (sec) LB: lower bound

obtained %Opt: Optimality Gap between the best LS-LD solution and the LB obtained by the B&C procedure (=100 (bst-LB)/bst). Bold LS-LD values

correspond to proven optimal solutions.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 175

Table 8

The effect of the local-scope ow-lifting inequalities.

S-series S-M-series

Instance No ow-lifting Flow-lifting Instance No ow-lifting Flow-lifting

#Nodes LB #Nodes #CpN LB %LB #Nodes LB #Nodes #CpN LB %LB

S-20-c101 123 269.52 121 0.5 269.52 0.00 S-M-20-c101 188 302.33 160 0.7 302.33 0.00

S-30-c101 527 370.99 467 0.6 370.99 0.00 S-M-30-c101 4909 444.08 5547 1.0 444.73 0.15

S-40-c101 1180 685.95 914 0.5 685.95 0.00 S-M-40-c101 13,353 755.48 12,011 0.5 755.87 0.05

S-50-c101 3378 963.38 3828 1.1 964.04 0.07 S-M-50-c101 2593 1090.92 2780 1.5 1092.85 0.18

avg 0.02 0.09

S-20-r101 53 482.84 50 0.6 482.84 0.00 S-M-20-r101 205 529.59 177 0.8 529.59 0.00

S-30-r101 2245 702.98 2294 0.7 705.33 0.33 S-M-30-r101 3371 771.81 3699 0.8 772.96 0.15

S-40-r101 1728 862.68 2223 1.2 865.53 0.33 S-M-40-r101 2561 964.68 2637 1.4 966.31 0.17

S-50-r101 1768 986.82 2163 1.1 987.53 0.07 S-M-50-r101 1727 1079.59 1755 1.3 1080.14 0.05

avg 0.18 0.09

#Nodes: number of B&C nodes explored LB: Lower Bound obtained #CpN: number of ow-lifting cuts added per B&C node explored %LB: percent gap

between the LB values obtained with and without the use of the ow-lifting constraints (=100 (Flow Lifting No Flow Lifting)/No Flow Lifting).

Table 9

The LS-LD results on the LDVRPSPD benchmark instances.

AVG BST %avg AVG BST %avg

WD t v WD t WD t v WD t

r101 1774.90 46.2 12 1774.90 33.7 0.00 ld-50 1822.75 5.2 6 1822.75 3.4 0.00

r201 1064.63 232.4 3 1064.63 141.3 0.00 ld-60 1955.94 8.1 7 1955.94 5.8 0.00

c101 2115.13 74.2 16 2112.76 44.4 0.11 ld-70 2191.54 18.5 8 2191.54 12.5 0.00

c201 1086.93 164.5 5 1086.93 128.0 0.00 ld-80 2470.85 24.0 9 2469.71 15.0 0.05

rc101 1972.37 85.5 10 1972.31 60.8 0.00 ld-90 2770.49 42.7 10 2770.49 22.8 0.00

rc201 1093.31 117.5 3 1090.45 67.0 0.26 ld-100 2977.35 80.4 11 2976.54 60.3 0.03

R1_2_1 6186.65 278.9 23 6170.27 144.5 0.27

R2_2_1 2945.53 794.2 5 2935.10 742.4 0.36

C1_2_1 6557.85 312.4 28 6546.46 342.8 0.17

C2_2_1 3016.39 477.5 9 3013.07 535.5 0.11

RC1_2_1 6116.74 347.2 23 6091.86 329.9 0.41

RC2_2_1 2726.81 1023.0 5 2717.17 1250.5 0.35

R1_4_1 17383.94 1459.6 54 17311.43 914.6 0.42

R2_4_1 6461.97 2434.3 10 6438.67 2503.0 0.36

C1_4_1 19715.51 1200.5 63 19661.76 1059.6 0.27

C2_4_1 6502.21 1648.2 15 6462.40 1957.4 0.62

RC1_4_1 17345.46 1570.4 52 17284.06 1082.7 0.36

RC2_4_1 6061.46 2018.4 11 6040.09 2064.8 0.35

avg 0.25 avg 0.01

AVG: Column group that refers to the average values over the LS-LD ten runs BST: Column group that refers to the LS-LD run which yielded the best

solution v: Number of routes WD: Weighted Distance objective t: CPU time required for reaching the nal solution (sec) %avg: Percent gap between

the average and best solution objectives (=100(AVG-BST)/BST).

selected according to the best-bound criterion. In addition to the B&C method, the proposed LS-LD metaheuristic was also

applied to the 16 small-scale problems. Each instance was solved ten times and the best LS-LD solution achieved for each

instance was fed as the initial solution for the corresponding B&C run. Table 7 provides analytic results for both the B&C

and LS-LD runs.

LS-LD exhibited a very stable performance. For all 16 problems, all ten runs obtained the same nal solution. In terms of

the computational time, the average time required by LS-LD for reaching the nal solution of each of the ten runs ranged

from 0.1 up to 5.2 CPU seconds. LS-LD produced six proven optimal LDVRPSPD solutions for instances of up to 40 customers,

whereas the LS-LD solution values were up to 6.78% (50-customer problem S-M-50-r101) higher than the lower bounds

obtained. Concerning the B&C runs, the clustered problems appear to be easier to solve: for the c101 instance series, four

optimal solutions were obtained, whereas for the r101 test cases, just the two 20-customer instances were optimally solved.

The corresponding optimality gaps are 0.73% and 2.94% for the c101 and r101 series, respectively. As far as the demand con-

guration is concerned, we see that for the problems with the original demand conguration (S- series) four proven optimal

solutions were obtained, while for the modied demand conguration (S-M- series), two proven optimal solutions were pro-

duced. This is attributed to the fact that for the original demand conguration, the vehicle load is maximized at depot adja-

cent arcs so that the employed rounded capacity inequalities yield a better performance.

Regarding the local-scope inequalities and for the tested small-scale problems, our computational experiments indicated

that only the ow-lifting constraints (26), (27) have a consistent improving impact on the B&C process. This is summarized in

176 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

Table 8 where a summary of the B&C results is provided with and without the use of the ow-lifting constraints. We can see

that for the ten instances not solved to optimality, the local-scope cuts augment the LB values by 0.15% on average (from

0.05% up to 0.33%). In addition, for the six instances that were optimally solved, the ow-lifting cuts consistently reduce

the number of B&C nodes explored. On the contrary, the local-scope sub-tour elimination and capacity constraints did

not play a signicant role. However, additional experiments indicated that the latter types of local-scope inequalities may

assist the B&C process, when instances of few customers per route are examined.

4.2.3. Results of the LS-LD method for the LDVRPSPD Benchmark Instances

The proposed metaheuristic approach was applied 10 times on each of the 18 TMG instances and the six MDL instances.

The obtained results are summarized in Table 9. It provides average and best solution values over the 10 runs. Again, LS-LD

exhibited a robust behaviour. The gaps between the best and average solution scores ranged from 0.00% to 0.62% for the TMG

problems, averaging at 0.25%. For the smaller-scale MDL group of instances, the relative gaps were limited up to 0.05%. The

computational times required are comparable to the ones required for the LDVRP model. Specically, the average CPU times

required for obtaining the nal solutions were from 5.2 to 2434.3 CPU seconds, which are acceptable for practical decision-

making purposes.

Except for the LDVRPSPD runs, we have applied the proposed methodology on the pure VRPSPD instances (k = 0) (10 runs

per benchmark instance). The purpose of these runs is twofold. Firstly, a comparison between the best LDVRPSPD and

VRPSPD solution structures is made. Secondly, the effectiveness of the LS-LD method in terms of the pick-up and delivery

feature of the examined problem is evaluated against previous VRPSPD methodologies. The comparative results are summa-

rized in Table 10. Note that regarding the symmetrical nature of the examined test cases, the weighted distance objective of

the VRPSPD solutions has been calculated as follows: for every route contained in the solution, we have examined if this

route can be feasibly reversed, i.e. if the reversal satises the capacity constraints. If this is the case, the weighted distance

objective for the route involved and its reversal have been calculated. The minimum of these values is assigned to the route

examined. If the route reversal is infeasible the weighted distance objective is straightforwardly computed. The solution

objective corresponds to the total weighted distance objective over the solution routes.

Table 10

Comparison of the solutions obtained for the LDVRPSPD and VRPSPD models.

v D WD mdl BKS %bks v D WD mdl

TMG group

r101 12 1009.95 1793.86 0.0 1009.95 0.00 12 1025.89 1774.90 0.0 1.58 1.06 54.5

r201 3 666.20 1068.23 66.7 666.20 0.00 3 676.56 1064.63 0.0 1.55 0.34 48.5

c101 16 1220.99 2139.70 6.3 1220.18 0.07 16 1235.29 2112.76 0.0 1.17 1.26 56.0

c201 5 662.07 1096.18 20.0 662.07 0.00 5 665.43 1086.93 0.0 0.51 0.84 19.0

rc101 10 1059.32 1980.54 40.0 1059.32 0.00 10 1062.05 1972.31 70.0 0.26 0.42 40.0

rc201 3 672.92 1097.73 33.3 672.92 0.00 3 673.02 1090.45 33.3 0.01 0.66 2.9

R1_2_1 23 3368.68 6238.42 13.0 3353.80 0.44 23 3403.61 6170.27 13.0 1.04 1.09 53.8

R2_2_1 5 1666.09 3018.33 20.0 1665.58 0.03 5 1695.30 2935.10 20.0 1.75 2.76 42.4

C1_2_1 28 3652.22 6572.63 3.6 3628.51 0.65 28 3678.67 6546.46 0.0 0.72 0.40 56.1

C2_2_1 9 1728.34 3059.08 22.2 1726.59 0.10 9 1740.37 3013.07 0.0 0.70 1.50 52.6

RC1_2_1 23 3321.73 6139.47 39.1 3303.70 0.55 23 3355.97 6091.86 4.3 1.03 0.78 50.2

RC2_2_1 5 1560.51 2731.96 20.0 1560.00 0.03 5 1564.95 2717.17 0.0 0.28 0.54 22.0

R1_4_1 54 9654.02 17481.78 18.5 9519.45 1.41 54 9662.72 17311.43 5.6 0.09 0.97 68.3

R2_4_1 10 3553.00 6455.57 20.0 3546.49 0.18 10 3583.61 6438.67 10.0 0.86 0.26 37.3

C1_4_1 63 11146.85 19770.67 0.0 11047.19 0.90 63 11151.52 19661.76 1.6 0.04 0.55 60.3

C2_4_1 15 3547.01 6516.35 13.3 3539.50 0.21 15 3580.18 6462.40 6.7 0.94 0.83 47.7

RC1_4_1 52 9573.22 17438.97 7.7 9447.53 1.33 52 9585.01 17284.06 13.5 0.12 0.89 59.7

RC2_4_1 11 3411.18 6132.35 18.2 3403.70 0.22 11 3470.45 6040.09 18.2 1.74 1.50 44.8

avg 20.1 0.34 10.9 0.80 0.93 45.3

MDL group

ld-50 6 983.99 1850.05 33.3 6 999.10 1822.75 50.0 1.54 1.48 64.3

ld-60 7 1056.35 1975.19 57.1 7 1072.55 1955.94 28.6 1.53 0.97 71.6

ld-70 8 1174.27 2219.06 25.0 8 1175.16 2191.54 25.0 0.08 1.24 65.4

ld-80 9 1313.04 2475.15 44.4 9 1319.39 2469.71 11.1 0.48 0.22 37.1

ld-90 10 1484.93 2789.16 60.0 10 1489.33 2770.49 30.0 0.30 0.67 36.0

ld-100 11 1578.64 2982.52 54.5 11 1581.97 2976.54 45.5 0.21 0.20 35.1

avg 45.7 31.7 0.69 0.80 51.6

Average 0.77 0.89 46.9

VRPSPD: Column group that refers to the best solutions achieved by LS-LD for the VRPSPD model LDVRPSPD: Column group that refers to the best

solutions achieved by LS-LD for the LDVRPSPD model v: Number of routes D: Distance Travelled mdl: the percent of the solution routes with maximal

load at non-depot-adjacent arcs WD: Weighted Distance Travelled %D: Percent gap of the distance travelled between the best VRPSPD and LDVRPSPD

solutions (=100(LDVRPSPD-VRPSPD)/VRPSPD) %WD: Percent gap of the weighted distance travelled between the best VRPSPD and LDVRPSPD solutions

(=100(VRPSPD-LDVRPSPD)/VRPSPD) %arcs: Percentage of uncommon arcs included in the VRPSPD and LDVRPSPD solutions BKS: Best known VRPSPD

solution score, as per Subramanian et al. (2013a) %bks: Percent gap between the distance of the best LS-LD solution and the BKS solution score (=100(D-

BKS)/BKS) AVERAGE: Average values for both the TMG and MDL instance groups.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 177

From Table 10, we observe that the best LDVRPSPD solutions reduce the weighted distance of the best VRPSPD solutions

by 0.93% for the TMG and 0.80% for the MDL instances, on average. The aforementioned reduction ranged from 0.20% up to a

signicant 2.76%. Moreover, the arcs contained in the best VRPSPD and LDVRPSPD solutions contain on average 46.9%

uncommon arcs (TMG: 45.3%, MDL: 51.6%). This fact indicates that when the weighted distance objective is considered,

the decision maker should focus on the LDVRPSPD model as the VRPSPD model leads to poor transportation planning. As

far as the VRPSPD comparisons are concerned, the LS-LD method exhibits a very good performance. On average, the pro-

duced solution values are just 0.34% worse than the best known ones. The highest gap between the LS-LD solution scores

and the best known ones (1.41%) is observed for the 400-customer problem R1_4_1. In addition, the proposed methodology

managed to match the best known solution scores for 5 out of the 18 TMG test cases. Table 10 also depicts the percent of

routes for which the route load is maximized at non depot-adjacent arcs (mdl column). Under the VRPSPD model, mdl is

more than doubled for the new MDL instance set (45.7%) compared to the original TMG instance group (20.1%). For the

LDVRPSPD model, the aforementioned average mdl values are 31.7% and 10.9%, respectively.

We empirically examine the role of three key characteristics of the LDVRPSPD model: (a) the cargo to tare weight (k), (b)

the customer demand deviation (both in terms of deliveries and pick-ups) and (c) the number of available vehicles. We have

used the six TMG instances involving up to 100 customers and the six MDL instances. The rather limited size of these

instances together with the strength of the proposed solution approach allows us to draw secure conclusions on the role

of the investigated model characteristics. Five distinct classes of demand congurations were examined: DD-2, DD-1,

DD0, DD + 1 and DD + 2. DD0 represents the demand conguration of the original VRPSPD instance. These classes were heu-

ristically designed to vary the deviation of the delivery and pick-up quantities. The total delivery and pick-up quantities have

remained unmodied compared to the original instance version. Thus, in total 60 instance graphs are used (12 problems 5

demand congurations). The k parameter was picked from {0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2} (when k = 0, the VRPSPD objective is considered),

while three vehicle classes were assumed, namely VC0, VC1 and VC2. For VC0, the number of available vehicles is equal to

the number of routes present in the best VRPSPD solutions (Table 10), while for VC1 and VC2 this number has been aug-

mented by one and two vehicles, respectively. Consequently, a total of 900 LDVRPSPD benchmark instances (Table 11)

are solved (60 graphs 5 k values 3 vehicle classes). The results obtained are provided separately for the TMG and

MDL instance groups, to examine if the maximization of the load in the middle of the routes has a particular impact on

the LDVRPSPD characteristics. They are summarized in Appendix C Tables C.7, C.8 and C.9 for vehicle classes VC0, VC1

and VC2, respectively. Analytic solution scores are provided in Tables C.10, C.11 and C.12 of Appendix C.

4.2.4.1. The role of the cargo to tare ratio. The cargo to tare weight ratio (k) exhibits a signicant effect on the LDVRPSPD solu-

tions produced. The reduction of the weighted distance, as well as the augmentation of the total distance of the LDVRPSPD

solutions compared to the VRP ones increase monotonically to the k value (Fig. 7). An important observation is related to the

three vehicle congurations examined. For VC0 and k = 2, where the minimal size of the vehicle eet is considered, the

weighted distance reduction is limited to 1.50% and 1.34% for the TMG and MDL instances, respectively. This observation

can be attributed to the fact that when the eet is small, the shape of the solutions is dened in a great extent by the capacity

constraints. In addition, in these cases, the uctuating load along the routes (due to the simultaneous delivery and pick-up

service) is constantly close to the vehicle capacity. Thus, the relative positioning of vertices within the routes does not have a

strong impact on the weighted distance quantity. On the other hand, when the vehicle eet is larger, there exist planning

Table 11

The LDVRPSPD benchmark instances grouped by the ve demand deviation classes.

SDD SDP SDDP SDD SDP SDDP SDD SDP SDDP SDD SDP SDDP SDD SDP SDDP

TMG instances

r101 12 1458 2339 6.17 7.99 9.01 7.35 9.60 10.83 8.87 11.81 13.22 10.99 14.56 16.30 12.74 16.53 18.46

r201 3 1458 2262 6.17 8.12 9.88 7.35 9.64 11.84 8.87 11.73 14.32 10.99 14.21 17.42 12.74 15.80 19.66

c101 16 1810 3070 7.22 9.41 12.60 8.72 10.75 14.72 10.42 13.43 18.07 13.33 17.08 23.07 16.02 20.15 27.38

c201 5 1810 2910 7.22 9.99 12.63 8.72 12.32 15.53 10.42 14.98 18.67 13.33 18.74 23.56 16.02 22.07 27.92

rc101 10 1724 1912 6.58 6.97 9.99 7.75 8.36 11.81 9.42 10.24 14.49 11.86 12.63 18.08 13.71 14.44 20.76

rc201 3 1724 2076 6.58 8.17 9.96 7.75 9.75 11.85 9.42 11.76 14.44 11.86 14.61 18.02 13.71 16.79 20.80

MDL instances

ld-50 6 5000 5000 19.99 43.18 36.28 23.86 51.88 43.72 29.65 64.59 54.26 37.26 79.07 66.94 44.63 90.98 77.85

ld-60 7 6000 6000 20.29 36.05 35.40 24.42 43.37 42.52 30.36 54.08 52.89 38.06 63.55 63.88 45.65 70.47 73.12

ld-70 8 7000 7000 20.20 37.38 33.71 24.26 44.90 40.49 30.02 55.99 50.46 37.68 69.15 62.79 45.10 79.34 73.33

ld-80 9 8000 8000 19.39 35.01 32.06 23.27 42.02 38.42 28.83 52.31 47.88 36.25 64.37 59.38 43.35 74.61 69.77

ld-90 10 9000 9000 18.21 35.43 32.48 21.90 42.44 39.03 27.18 52.94 48.53 34.11 64.22 59.63 40.88 73.75 69.79

ld-100 11 10,000 10,000 19.63 38.30 33.21 23.52 45.89 39.70 29.30 57.26 49.46 36.79 69.62 60.78 44.04 78.96 70.23

P P

|K|: number of available vehicles Dt: total delivery quantity (Dt = i2N di ) Pt: total pick-up quantity (Pt = i2N pi ) SDD: standard deviation of delivery

orders SDP: standard deviation of pick-up orders SDDP: standard deviation of the delivery minus pick-up orders.

178 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

alternatives which have a strong impact on the weight capacity utilization along the vehicle trips. These alternatives are

identied and exploited by solving the LDVRPSPD model. As a result for the VC1 class, the average weighted distance reduc-

tion achieved by the best LDVRPSPD solutions over the VRPSPD ones (k = 2) range up to 6.45% for the TMG and 2.95% for the

MDL test problems. The corresponding average length increase is up to 4.28% and 4.42%, respectively. For the VC2, the dis-

similarity between the LDVRPSPD and VRPSPD solutions is more signicant: the average weighted distance reduction for the

TMG instances is 8.25%, while for the MDL instances it is equal to 3.44%. The corresponding average length increase induced

by the LDVRPSPD solutions is 7.72% and 7.42%, for the TMG and MDL instances, respectively. The average weighted distance

increase appears to be greater for the TMG instance group compared to the MDL one, for both VC1 and VC2. However, this is

not a characteristic of the more intense load uctuation along the routes: it is attributed to the TMG instances r201 and

rc201 which involve many customers per route (high n/K values). With these instances excluded, the average weighted dis-

tance decrease managed by the LDVRPSPD solutions for the TMG instance group is equal to 3.64% and 3.96%, for the VC1 and

VC2, respectively, which are comparable to the corresponding values for the MDL instance group (VC1: 2.95%, VC2: 3.44%).

4.2.4.2. The role of the demand deviation. Fig. 8 presents the weighted distance objective reduction achieved by the best

LDVRPSPD solutions (compared to the VRPSPD ones) against the ve demand conguration classes. Again, we note that

direct comparisons are only indicative, because each demand class involves instances of different delivery and-pick up quan-

tities and thus of different capacity constraints. However, as also in the case of the LDVRP, a consistent tendency is observed,

both for the TMG and the MDL instance sets: the higher the demand deviation, the higher the weighted distance improve-

ment achieved by the LDVRPSPD model over the VRP one.

4.2.4.3. The role of the number of available vehicles. The number of available vehicles strongly affects the shape of the

LDVRPSPD solutions obtained. The LDVRPSPD solutions tend to use additional routes when extra vehicles are available.

Fig. 9 presents the average number of routes contained in the best quality solutions for the 30 TMG and 30 MDL instances

of VC2. We observe that a similar behaviour is observed for both instance groups: the higher the k value, the more routes in

the solutions produced. This is because when the cargo weight becomes the signicant factor of the gross weight trans-

ported, under the LDVRPSPD model, vehicles of low utilization are generally preferred, in order to avoid lengthy and

heavy-loaded route segments. Fig. 9 also presents how many of these 30 TMG and 30 MDL highest-quality solutions use

k, k + 1 and k + 2 vehicles. As an overall comment, we note that when simultaneous deliveries and pick-ups are performed

so that the capacity utilization stays high throughout the complete vehicle trips, the LDVRPSPD model exhibits a rather

strong preference for solutions of additional routes. In these cases and when the weighted distance objective is to be min-

imized, one should investigate the benets induced by hiring/using extra vehicles. Moreover as presented in Fig. 7, when

1.6 7 9

1.4 8

6

TMG Instances

1.2 7

5

6

% Deviaon

1

4 5

0.8

3 4

0.6

3

2

0.4 2

0.2 1

1

0 0 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2

1.6 5 8

1.4 4.5 7

4

MDL Instances

1.2 6

3.5

% Deviaon

1 3 5

0.8 2.5 4

0.6 2 3

1.5

0.4 2

1

0.2 0.5 1

0 0 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.5 2

Fig. 7. Comparison of VRPSPD and LDVRPSPD solutions against the cargo to weight ratio.

E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181 179

VC 0 VC 1 VC 2

3.00 8.00 10.00

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

7.00 9.00

2.50

TMG Instances

8.00

6.00

7.00

2.00

5.00 6.00

1.50 4.00 5.00

3.00 4.00

1.00 3.00

2.00

2.00

0.50

1.00 1.00

0.00 0.00 0.00

DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2

1.80 4 4.5

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

Weighted Distance Savings (%)

1.60 3.5 4

MDL Instances

1.40 3 3.5

1.20 3

2.5

1.00 2.5

2

0.80 2

1.5 1.5

0.60

0.40 1 1

0.20 0.5 0.5

0.00 0 0

DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2 DD-2 DD-1 DD-0 DD+1 DD+2

Demand Deviaon Class Demand Deviaon Class Demand Deviaon Class

= 0.5 =1 =1.5 =2

Fig. 8. The effect of the demand deviation on the weighted distance savings achieved by the LDVRPSPD model compared to the basic VRP.

10.50 30

25

10.00

TMG Instances

20

#Soluons

k+2

#Routes

9.50

15

9.00

10

k+1

8.50 5 k

8.00 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.50 2

11.00 30

10.50 25

MDL Instances

20

#Soluons

10.00

k+2

#Routes

9.50 15

10

k+1

9.00

8.50 5 k

8.00 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 0 0.5 1 1.50 2

Fig. 9. The number of LDVRPSPD routes against the cargo to tare weight ratio.

more vehicles are available, the effect of the k value on the weighed distance objective reduction achieved by the LDVRPSPD

model over the VRPSPD one tends to be signicantly stronger.

5. Conclusions

In the present paper, we have examined a generalization of the classic vehicle routing problem with major practical

importance. The examined problem, called Load Dependent Vehicle Routing Problem (LDVRP), is best suited for heavy-duty

transportation logistics activities where the transported cargo weight signicantly contributes to the gross weight of the

vehicles. Contrary to the classic distance objective, the LDVRP calls for the minimization of the product of the total distance

travelled and the gross weight carried along this distance. The aforementioned objective function is capable of producing

180 E.E. Zachariadis et al. / Transportation Research Part B 71 (2015) 158181

sensible solution structures which take into account the variation of the vehicle load along the designed trips. In addition, the

LDVRP objective provides a basis for minimizing the total energy requirements of the vehicle eet and consequently the total

fuel consumption. Thus, LDVRP constitutes an optimization model which is appropriate for cases where the environmental

consequences of transportation activities are taken into consideration. Except for the basic LDVRP which assumes that cus-

tomers require only delivery services, the present paper is the rst to introduce and solve the LDVRP extension with custom-

ers requiring simultaneous pick-up and delivery service. For this novel routing extension, a compact formulation is

developed based on a single-commodity ow model.

To solve both problems, we propose a powerful local search approach. In addition, we introduce and analytically present a

computational scheme for calculating the complex LDVRP objective change induced by the employed local search operators

in constant time. This scheme can be integrated in various local search methods that tackle the weighted distance objective.

The basic features of our algorithmic design are that the search is efciently performed by an appropriate local-search move

encoding strategy, infeasible solutions are allowed, while the search is diversied by means of a variation of the aspiration

criteria.

The proposed solution approach is evaluated on numerous test cases taken from the literature, as well as newly con-

structed data sets. It has produced ne results generating high quality LDVRP solution scores. In addition, the structure of

the solutions obtained for the VRP (VRPSPD) and LDVRP (LDVRPSPD) models are compared, to gain insight on the relative

applicability and suitability of these routing models when the decision maker must deal with the weighted distance objec-

tive. Furthermore, results of a branch-and-cut procedure for a series of new small-scale LDVRPSPD instances are reported.

Finally, extensive computational experiments have been conducted to examine and highlight the managerial implications

of the effect of some key problem parameters, namely the maximum cargo to tare weight ratio, the delivery (and pick-

up) order variability of customers, as well as the size of the vehicle eet.

In terms of future research directions, the load-aware objective should be incorporated into several vehicle routing prob-

lems of practical importance, to examine how the shape of the produced solutions may be affected by the consideration of

the ton-kilometer objective. Special interest should be given to the heterogeneous eet variants, as the selection of vehicle

type drastically affects the gross weight travelled along the generated routes. In addition the split delivery/collection practice

might yield signicant load-aware objective savings. This is because, except for promoting high capacity utilization, dividing

the customer orders has a strong impact on the cargo carried along the vehicle trips.

Acknowledgements

The work presented in this paper was supported by the Action 2: Support for postdoctoral researchers with a view to

promote research program of the Athens University of Economics and Business. The authors would like to thank the review-

ers for their constructive remarks that helped us improve the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Panagiotis

Repoussis for offering useful insights during the development of the present article.

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found, in the online version, at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/

j.trb.2014.11.004.

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