Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Generic solver for vehicle routing problems

Major advances were recently obtained in the exact solution of Vehicle Routing Problems (VRPs). Sophisticated Branch-Cut-and-Price (BCP) algorithms for some of the most classical VRP variants now solve many instances with up to a few hundreds of customers. However, adapting and re-implementing those successful algorithms for other variants can be a very demanding task. In [8], [12], [11], we propose a BCP solver for a generic model that encompasses a wide class of VRPs. It incorporates the key elements found in the best existing VRP algorithms: ng-path relaxation, rank-1 cuts with limited memory, path enumeration, and rounded capacity cuts; all generalized through the new concepts of “packing set” and “elementarity set”. The concepts are also used to derive a branching rule based on accumulated resource consumption and to generalize the Ryan and Foster branching rule. Extensive experiments on several variants show that the generic solver has an excellent overall performance, in many problems being better than the best specific algorithms. Even some non-VRPs, like bin packing, vector packing and generalized assignment, can be modeled and effectively solved.

The solver is available for download and free academic use in