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Optimization and Applications: Some Recent Research. by Bruce L. Golden Decision & Information Technologies Research Day, Sept. 7, 2007. Broad Areas of Research (last two years). Practical Vehicle Routing/Logistics

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optimization and applications some recent research
Optimization and Applications:Some Recent Research

by

Bruce L. Golden

Decision & Information Technologies

Research Day, Sept. 7, 2007

broad areas of research last two years
Broad Areas of Research (last two years)
  • Practical Vehicle Routing/Logistics
    • Si Chen, Bob Shuttleworth, Chris Groer, Namrata Cornick, Damon Gulczynski, Xia Wang
  • Heuristic Search in Combinatorial Optimization
    • William Mennell, Xia Wang, John Silberholz, Daliborka Stanojevic, Ioannis Gamvros, Andy Hall, Inbal Yahav, Yupei Xiong, K-H. Loh
slide3

Real-World Focus

  • Most of my research in vehicle routing/logistics is motivated by real-world problems
    • UPS (Baltimore), RouteSmart Technologies (Columbia)
    • We have access to real-world data
  • I helped four Ph.D. students obtain paid summer internships this past summer
    • UPS (2), BAE Systems (1), UMMC (1)
  • Let me describe one research project (Groer, Golden, Wasil)
slide4

The Billing Cycle Vehicle Routing Problem

  • The problem was described to us by RouteSmart Technologies
  • Over time, a utility company’s meter-reading routes become inefficient, imbalanced, and fractured
  • Utilities wish to remedy this situation by shifting customers to different billing days and routes subject to certain constraints
  • We began with a real-world data set of 17,775 customers
slide5

Imbalanced Routes

  • Each customer is assigned to one of 20 billing days
  • Three meter readers are working each day
  • The number of customers visited each day varies between 400 and 1300
  • Daily route length varies similarly
  • A utility company in this situation has several goals
slide6

Goals/Constraints of the Utility Company

  • Create more efficient routes for each day of the billing cycle
  • Balance the workload across the billing cycle, in terms of customers serviced and total route length
  • Regulatory and customer service considerations prevent the utility company from shifting a customer’s billing day by more than a few days from one month to the next
  • These were put in place to eliminate variation in customers’ bills due to utility company policies
slide7

Concluding Remarks

  • We use techniques from the following Ph.D. courses to solve this problem
    • BMGT 830: LP
    • BMGT 831: Networks
    • BMGT 833: IP
  • Can we recover efficient routes and balanced workdays?
  • If so, how many months does it take?