Vehicle Routing: Case Study at EURO

I am at the EURO 2009 conference at the moment and have just been to a very interesting presentation (the picture was taken during the presentation).

A few days ago I wrote a blog on various formulations of the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) (see original post). This blog talked about the many variants of the VRP.

The talk (6th July 2009: 13:35) was entitled Vehicle Routing Problem: A Case Study in Local Government. It considered six different VRPs (eight if you also take into account the ones which do not transport people around (laundry and meal deliveries)) that Coventry City Council face.
They all have lots of constraints that you may not normally associate with the VRP. For example:

  • They want people to spend as little time on the bus as possible;
  • Usually the aim is to minimise the distance but in this case we want to minimise the time between locations (a subtle difference, and something I have been looking at recently with the help of Google Maps API – more on this later).
  • They require pickups to be as efficent as possible (i.e. they want to pick up people who are close to one another in one go rather than back-tracking);
  • etc.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the slides which listed all the constraints, but it made interesting reading.

I hope the authors are able to publish this work as it would make a good case study paper