Author

Kai Liu

Advisor

Eksioglu, Burak

Committee Member

Jin, Mingzhou

Committee Member

Erkoc, Murat

Committee Member

Bowden, Royce

Committee Member

Bullington, Stanley

Date of Degree

1-1-2005

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Abstract

This dissertation examines the Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem (SDVRP), a relaxed version of classical capacitated vehicle routing problem (CVRP) in which the demand of any client can be split among the vehicles that visit it. We study both scenarios of the SDVRP in this dissertation. For the SDVRP with a fixed number of the vehicles, we provide a Two-Stage algorithm. This approach is a cutting-plane based exact method called Two-Stage algorithm in which the SDVRP is decomposed into two stages of clustering and routing. At the first stage, an assignment problem is solved to obtain some clusters that cover all demand points and get the lower bound for the whole problem; at the second stage, the minimal travel distance of each cluster is calculated as a traditional Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP), and the upper bound is obtained. Adding the information obtained from the second stage as new cuts into the first stage, we solve the first one again. This procedure stops when there are no new cuts to be created from the second stage. Several valid inequalities have been developed for the first stage to increase the computational speed. A valid inequality is developed to completely solve the problem caused by the index of vehicles. Another strong valid inequality is created to provide a valid distance lower bound for each set of demand points. This algorithm can significantly outperform other exact approaches for the SDVRP in the literature. If the number of the vehicles in the SDVRP is a variable, we present a column generation based branch and price algorithm. First, a restricted master problem (RMP) is presented, which is composed of a finite set of feasible routes. Solving the linear relaxation of the RMP, values of dual variables are thus obtained and passed to the sub-problem, the pricing problem, to generate a new column to enter the base of the RMP and solve the new RMP again. This procedure repeats until the objective function value of the pricing problem is greater than or equal to zero (for minimum problem). In order to get the integer feasible (optimal) solution, a branch and bound algorithm is then performed. Since after branching, it is not guaranteed that the possible favorable column will appear in the master problem. Therefore, the column generation is performed again in each node after branching. The computational results indicate this approach is promising in solving the SDVRP in which the number of the vehicles is not fixed.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/17481

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