In the basic Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP), the problem is to pick up some goods at a depot and deliver them to a set of customers (using a given fleet of vehicles), at minimum cost. Because of the amount of money spent every day on moving things, this problem has received much attention.
The talk start off by giving an outline of the problem, and a couple of the common ways to find and improve a solution.
Our work at Strathclyde concentrates on finding solutions when extra constraints are present, reducing and disfiguring the solution space. I will talk about the kinds of methods that seem appropriate in this case, and some of the results we have been achieving. This is new work, as the Operational Research community often shies away from these "real-world" problems.
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