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A branch-and-bound approach for a Vehicle Routing Problem with Customer Costs

: Theurich, F.; Fischer, A.; Scheithauer, G.

EURO journal on computational optimization 9 (2021), Art. 100003
ISSN: 2192-4406 (Print)
ISSN: 2192-4414 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IVI ()

An important aspect in railway maintenance management is the scheduling of tamping actions in which two aspects need to be considered: first, the reduction of travel costs for crews and machinery; and second, the reduction of time-dependent costs caused by bad track condition. We model the corresponding planning problem as a Vehicle Routing Problem with additional customer costs. Due to the particular objective function, this kind of Vehicle Routing Problem is harder to solve with conventional methods. Therefore, we develop a branch-and-bound approach based on a partition and permutation model. We present two branching strategies, the first appends one job at the end of a route in each branching step and the second includes one job inside a route in each branching step; and analyze their pros and cons. Furthermore, different lower bounds for the customer costs and the travel costs are defined and compared. The performance of the branch-and-bound method is analyzed and c ompared with a commercial solver.