A hybrid meta-heuristic algorithm for the vehicle routing problem with stochastic travel times considering the driver's satisfaction
1 Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran
3 Department of Industrial Engineering, Tehran South Branch, Islamic Azad University Tehran, Iran
Journal of Industrial Engineering International 2012, 8:4 doi:10.1186/2251-712X-8-4Published: 10 May 2012
A vehicle routing problem is a significant problem that has attracted great attention from researchers in recent years. The main objectives of the vehicle routing problem are to minimize the traveled distance, total traveling time, number of vehicles and cost function of transportation. Reducing these variables leads to decreasing the total cost and increasing the driver's satisfaction level. On the other hand, this satisfaction, which will decrease by increasing the service time, is considered as an important logistic problem for a company. The stochastic time dominated by a probability variable leads to variation of the service time, while it is ignored in classical routing problems. This paper investigates the problem of the increasing service time by using the stochastic time for each tour such that the total traveling time of the vehicles is limited to a specific limit based on a defined probability. Since exact solutions of the vehicle routing problem that belong to the category of NP-hard problems are not practical in a large scale, a hybrid algorithm based on simulated annealing with genetic operators was proposed to obtain an efficient solution with reasonable computational cost and time. Finally, for some small cases, the related results of the proposed algorithm were compared with results obtained by the Lingo 8 software. The obtained results indicate the efficiency of the proposed hybrid simulated annealing algorithm.