Arc Routing with Time-Dependent Travel Times and Paths

Thibaut Vidal, Rafael Martinelli, Tuan Anh Pham, Minh Hoàng Hà

Vehicle routing algorithms usually reformulate the road network into a complete graph in which each arc represents the shortest path between two locations. Studies on time-dependent routing followed this model and therefore defined the speed functions on the complete graph. We argue that this model is often inadequate, in particular for arc routing problems involving services on edges of a road network. To fill this gap, we formally define the time-dependent capacitated arc routing problem (TDCARP), with travel and service speed functions given directly at the network level. Under these assumptions, the quickest path between locations can change over time, leading to a complex problem that challenges the capabilities of current solution methods. We introduce effective algorithms for preprocessing quickest paths in a closed form, efficient data structures for travel time queries during routing optimization, as well as heuristic and exact solution approaches for the TDCARP. Our heuristic uses the hybrid genetic search principle with tailored solution-decoding algorithms and lower bounds for filtering moves. Our branch-and-price algorithm exploits dedicated pricing routines, heuristic dominance rules and completion bounds to find optimal solutions for problem counting up to 75 services. Based on these algorithms, we measure the benefits of time-dependent routing optimization for different levels of travel-speed data accuracy.

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