The vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW) consists of finding least-cost vehicle routes to satisfy the demands of customers that can be visited within specific time windows. We introduce two enhancements for the exact solution of the VRPTW by branch-price-and-cut (BPC). First, we develop a sharper form of the limited-memory subset-row inequalities by representing the memory as an arc subset rather than a node subset. Second, from the elementary inequalities introduced by Balas in 1977, we derive a family of inequalities that dominate them. These enhancements are embedded into an exact BPC algorithm that includes state-of-the-art features such as bidirectional labeling, decremental state-space relaxation, completion bounds, variable fixing, and route enumeration. Computational results show that these enhancements are particularly effective for the most difficult instances and that our BPC algorithm can solve all 56 Solomon instances with 100 customers and 51 of 60 Gehring and Homberger instances with 200 customers.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1287/ijoc.2016.0744, hdl.handle.net/1765/113241
Journal I N F O R M S Journal on Computing: charting new directions in OR and CS
Citation
Galindo Pecin, D., Contardo, Claudio, Desaulniers, G, & Uchoa, Eduardo. (2017). New enhancements for the exact solution of the vehicle routing problem with time windows. I N F O R M S Journal on Computing: charting new directions in OR and CS. doi:10.1287/ijoc.2016.0744