Vehicle Routing Problem with Uncertain Demands: An Advanced Particle Swarm Algorithm

Research Area: Articulos Year: 2012
Type of Publication: Article
Authors: Moghaddam, B. Farhang; Ruiz, Rubén; Sadjadi, S. J.
Journal: Computers and Industrial Engineering Volume: 62
Number: 1 Pages: 306-317
The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) has been thoroughly studied in the last decades. However, this applies to the deterministic version where customer’s demands are fixed and known in advance. Uncertainty in the demands has been much less studied in comparison. When demands are not known in advance several problems arise in the VRP. For example, there might be unmet customer’s demands, which finally lead to lost profit. A reliable plan and set of routes after solving the VRP can significantly reduce the unmet demands costs, helping in achieving customer satisfaction. This paper investigates a variant of an uncertain VRP, in which the customer’s demands are supposed to be uncertain with unknown distributions. An advanced Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm is proposed to solve such VRP. A novel decoding scheme is also developed to increase the PSO efficiency. Comprehensive computational experiments, along with comparisons with other existing algorithms are provided as a validation for the proposed techniques.
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