Heuristics for the robust vehicle routing problem with time windows
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionExpert systems with applications. 2017, 77 136-147. 10.1016/j.eswa.2017.01.038
Uncertainty is frequently present in logistics and transportation, where vehicle routing problems play a crucial role. However, due to the complexity inherent in dealing with uncertainty, most research has been devoted to deterministic problems. This paper considers a robust version of the vehicle routing problem with hard time windows, in which travel times are uncertain. A budget polytope uncertainty set describes the travel times, to limit the maximum number of sailing legs that can be delayed. This makes sure that improbable scenarios are not considered, while making sure that solutions are immune to delays on a given number of sailing legs. Existing exact methods are only able to solve small instances of the problem and can be computationally demanding. With the aim of solving large instances with reduced running times, this paper proposes an efficient heuristic based on adaptive large neighborhood search. The computational study performed on instances with different uncertainty levels compares and analyzes the performance of four versions of the heuristic and shows how good quality solutions can be obtained within short computational times.