Routing solutions for the service industry
Bozkaya, Burçin and Cao, Buyang and Aktolug, Kaan (2010) Routing solutions for the service industry. In: Montoya-Torres, Jairo R. and Juan, Angel A. and Huaccho, Luisa and Faulin, Javier and Rodriguez-Verjan, Gloria, (eds.) Hybrid Algorithms for Service, Computing and Manufacturing Systems: Routing, Scheduling and Availability Solutions. IGI GLOBAL, USA. (Accepted/In Press)
First introduced more than 50 years ago by Dantzig and Ramser (1959), vehicle routing problems (VRP) attract both academic researchers’ and practitioners’ interests due to its difficult-to-solve nature and hence its attractiveness in theoretical research as well as its wide applicability in many real-world settings. Today VRP is probably one of the most widely encountered types of problems for routing and distribution in the service industry. Examples include furniture delivery to a customer’s address, scheduling bus service pick-up/drop-off for students or company personnel, or service technician routing among many others. The goal of this chapter is to provide the reader with the background, mathematical model and various solution approaches on one of the more commonly encountered variant of the problem, namely the VRP with Time Windows (VRPTW). We also present three case studies from our experience in the service industry that are real applications of VRPTW with positive contributions to the companies who have implemented GIS-based systems in conjunction with solving the problem at an enterprise scale.
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