Performance Analysis on Hybrid and ExactMethods for Solving Clustered VRP : A Comparative Study on VRP Algorithms

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för datalogi och datorsystemteknik

Abstract: Context: The Vehicle Routing Problem is an NP-hard problem with a combination of varieties oftopics like logistics, optimization research and data mining. There is a vast need of vehicle routingsolutions in day to day like with different constraints. According to the requirements, this problem hasbeen a field of interest to a lot of researchers who incorporate scientific methods to combine andinnovate new solutions to optimize the routing. Being an np-hard problem, it is almost impossible tocompute the solutions to optimality but years of research on this area has paid off quite significantlyand the solutions are optimized little by little and better than before. Some applications may or maynot find slight difference in the performance as a considerable affect but some applications orscenarios heavily depend on the performance of the solution where it is very vital that the solution isoptimized to the fullest. As a data mining technique clustering has been used very prominently in caseof portioning scenarios and similarly it has also began to surface in implementing VRP solutions.Although it has recently emerged into the Vehicle Routing era and shown some significant results, ithas not yet come into an open state or awareness. The awareness regarding clustering matters in ahuge extent to be considered by most of the recent researchers who formulate new algorithms to solveVRP and help them further optimize their solution. Objectives: In this study the significance of clustering has been considered to find out how the usageof clustering techniques can alter the performance of VRP based solutions favorably. Then to test theresults of two recently proposed cluster based algorithms, a comparison has been made to other typesof algorithms which prove how the algorithms stand with various methods. Methods: A literature review is performed using various articles that have been gathered from GoogleScholar and then an empirical experiment was conducted on the results available in the papers. Thisexperiment was done by performing a comparative analysis. Results: For the literature review the results were gathered from all the articles based on theirresearch, experience, use of clustering and how their result was improved by using clustering methodsin their formulations. Considering the experiment, the results of both the algorithm were comparedwith the results of five other papers who aim to solve the VRP using exactly the same instances thatwere used in the two algorithms in order to compare valid results on the same variables. Then theresults were analyzed for the purpose of comparison and conclusions were drawn accordingly. Conclusions: From the research performed in this paper we can conclude the vast significance ofclustering techniques that were drawn based on practical test results of various authors. From theexperiment performed it is clear that the Hybrid algorithm has a much higher performance than anyother algorithm it has been compared to. This algorithm has also been proven to enhance itsperformance due to the implementation of clustering techniques in their formulation. Since the resultswere only based on performance that is, in this case the total distance of the final route, future studyindicates the implementation of algorithms to compare them on basis of time complexity and spacecomplexity as well.

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