Balancing resources for dynamic vehicle routing with stochastic customer requests

Ninja Scherr, Marlin W. Ulmer, Dirk C. Mattfeld

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


We consider a service provider performing pre-planned service for initially known customers with a fleet of vehicles, e.g., parcel delivery. During execution, new dynamic service requests occur, e.g., for parcel pickup. The goal of the service provider is to serve as many dynamic requests as possible while ensuring service of all initial customers. The allocation of initial services impacts the potential of serving dynamic requests. An allocation aiming on a time-efficient initial routing leads to minimal overall workload regarding the initial solution but may congest some vehicles that are unable to serve additional requests along their routes. An even workload division is less efficient but grants all vehicles flexibility for additional services. In this paper, we investigate the balance between efficiency and flexibility. For the initial customers, we modify a routing algorithm to allow a shift between efficient initial routing and evenly balanced workloads. For effective dynamic decision making with respect to the dynamic requests, we present value function approximations with different feature sets capturing vehicle workload in different levels of detail. We show that sacrificing some initial routing efficiency in favor of a balanced vehicle workload is a key factor for a flexible integration of later customer requests that leads to an average improvement of 10.75%. Further, we show when explicitly depicting heterogeneity in the vehicle workload by features of the value function approximation provides benefits and that the best choice of features leads to an average improvement of 5.71% compared to the worst feature choice.

Seiten (von - bis)331-373
FachzeitschriftOR Spectrum
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 15 Feb. 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 101015 Operations Research