Owing to the presence in Cagliari of many brilliant researchers attending Odysseus 2018, VeRoLog will organize a two-day school just before the beginning of the workshop: Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of June 2018. Four lectures will be given by Teodor Gabriel Crainic, Guy Desaulniers, Ola Jabali, Thibaut Vidal on different methodologies for Vehicle Routing Problems. The school will be held in the red room of the “Citadel of Museums” and introduced by Daniele Vigo. Titles and abstracts are reported below:
Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP) involve designing least-cost delivery routes to visit a geographically-dispersed set of customers. Over the past 60 years, this class of problems has been the subject of considerable work, summing up to thousands of articles. In 2017, we can reasonably say that the classical “capacitated” VRP (with only capacity constraints) is fairly well solved by metaheuristic techniques. Yet, the research on VRPs keeps on expanding even further, as a consequence of the increasing diversity of applications, which bring forth new difficult constraints, objectives, and combined decisions to account for customer’s needs, vehicle and network restrictions, and to better integrate VRP optimization in the decision chains. Moreover, with the advent of collaborative logistics, green initiatives, smart cities, multi-modal transport, in contexts where multiples stakeholders and conflicting objectives have to be considered jointly, or in the presence of dynamic problems with a short response time, the efficient resolution of these problems becomes even more critical. In this mini-course, we will review some challenging VRP variants and examine the heuristic solution techniques which are developed to tackle them. We will study the close connections between the structure of the problem decision sets, and the associated solution methods, showing how modern heuristics can effectively perform a search in a reduced space, defined by fewer groups of decision variables, while a decoder is in charge of producing complete solutions. Finally, a key challenge is to progress towards “unified” solution methods, which are not tailored for one single problem, but instead designed to solve a wide collection of problem variants with different constraints and objectives. For this purpose, we expose some of the main principles of the Unified Hybrid Genetic Search (UHGS), which has obtained state-of-the-art results –in a single code base– for more than 50 difficult variants of vehicle routing and arc routing problems.
The school will be offered free of charge to Phd Students attending Odysseus 2018. Moreover, it is also possible to attend only the school by a registration fee of €150.00. Participants have to be enrolled in a PhD program and, preferably, in an early stage of their studies.
Didactic material, lunches and coffee breaks will be provided during the PhD school. Financial support will be provided by VeRoLog. If required, a certificate of attendance will be provided to participants.