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Research on Simulation Optimization Method for Vehicle Routing Problem

Author: SunZhongYue
Tutor: GuanZhongLiang
School: Beijing Jiaotong University
Course: Management Science
Keywords: Vehicle Routing Problem Genetic Algorithm Discrete EventSimulation Object-oriented
CLC: F252
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 762
Quote: 3
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Abstract


Vehicle routing problem (VRP) is one of the key issues in the field of logistic management. The aim of VRP is delivering fight goods to right customers timely with the least cost by means of rationally dispatching vehicles and arranging routes and time. This problem has been a difficulty in acadentic and industrial communities for a long time. Now the research on vehicle routing problem has more focused on the algorithms. This approach usually ragards VRP problem as a highly theoretical static problems, in fact, the actual logistics distribution system has considerable randomness and complexity, therefore it is difficult to meet the needs of VRP solely relying on the study of algorithms.In view of these facts, this paper has solved VRP by simulation and optimization methods on the basis of existing research of VRP. Main research work and contributions are shown as follows.(1) The simulation model for solving VRP is established. Considering the complexity of vehicle routing problem, the model of distribution process is established by discrete event simulation method and it is realized using the object-oriented technology. In order to solve VRP, the simulation and optimization model is established by integrating the simulation process and the optimization process.At the same time, intelligent decision-making module is added to this model, it plays a role in sovling random questions and handling the constraints and assisting genetic algorithm to optimize the solution of VRP.(2) An improved optimization algorithm is discussed. Because the price of simulation calculation is so costly that it will affect the optimization speed, traditional genetic algorithm is improved and a new adaptive genetic algorithm is introduced. That is, the new algorithm can adaptively adjust the probabilities of crossover and mutation according to the fitness values in the different evolution stages. In addition, in view of the feature of VRP, a mutation method is modified and local optimization process is increased on the basis of the standard genetic algorithm. Experimental results show that these improvements in the genetic algorithm can significantly improve the solution quality and speed of VRP.(3) The vehicle routing problem with hard time window (VRPHTW) is solved using simulation and optimization. In view of strict limits on time of VRPHTW, intelligent decision-making module is designed within the framework of simulation and optimization, that is, an artificial intelligence method is used to solve traditional VRPHTW. In order to meet the actual distribution needs, the traditional VRPHTW problem is extended to the VRP with hard time windows problem which the distribution process has no waiting time and the solution of this problem is designed. During solving two types of VRP problems with hard time windows, genetic algorithms will generate a lot of individuals which can not meet customers’ time requirements and this will lead to lower optimization efficiency. In this paper, simulation and optimization strategy are improved considering this problem. The effectiveness and feasibility of the improved method is verified by calculating the examples of Solomon benchmarks set.(4) Dynamic vehicle routing problem is discussed. A series of strategy criterions and ways which solve the dynamic vehicle routing problem are presented and a dynamic simulation optimization model is built through using of advantages that simulation and optimization deal with dynamic complex systems. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of this method.(5) A simulation optimization software system of VRP is designed. The basic idea which this paper has proposed in dealing with standard vehicle routing problem and its extension is achieved by the object-oriented language VC++6.0.This research not only has directive significance for the practical applications of vehicle routing problem but also provides decision support for logistics distribution scheduling system.

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