A Multiobjective Large Neighborhood Search Metaheuristic for the Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows
The Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (VRPTW) is an NP-Hard optimization problem which has been intensively studied by researchers due to its applications in real-life cases in the distribution and logistics sector. In this problem, customers define a time slot, within which they must be served by vehicles of a standard capacity. The aim is to define cost-effective routes, minimizing both the number of vehicles and the total traveled distance. When we seek to minimize both attributes at
... both attributes at the same time, the problem is considered as multiobjective. Although numerous exact, heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms have been developed to solve the various vehicle routing problems, including the VRPTW, only a few of them face these problems as multiobjective. In the present paper, a Multiobjective Large Neighborhood Search (MOLNS) algorithm is developed to solve the VRPTW. The algorithm is implemented using the Python programming language, and it is evaluated in Solomon's 56 benchmark instances with 100 customers, as well as in Gehring and Homberger's benchmark instances with 1000 customers. The results obtained from the algorithm are compared to the best-published, in order to validate the algorithm's efficiency and performance. The algorithm is proven to be efficient both in the quality of results, as it offers three new optimal solutions in Solomon's dataset and produces near optimal results in most instances, and in terms of computational time, as, even in cases with up to 1000 customers, good quality results are obtained in less than 15 min. Having the potential to effectively solve real life distribution problems, the present paper also discusses a practical real-life application of this algorithm.