Recent advances in vehicle routing with stochastic demands: Bayesian learning for correlated demands and elementary branch-price-and-cut

Alexandre M. Florio, Michel Gendreau, Richard F. Hartl, Stefan Minner, Thibaut Vidal

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


We consider the vehicle routing problem with stochastic demands (VRPSD), a stochastic variant of the well-known VRP in which demands are only revealed upon arrival of the vehicle at each customer. Motivated by the significant recent progress on VRPSD research, we begin this paper by summarizing the key new results and methods for solving the problem. In doing so, we discuss the main challenges associated with solving the VRPSD under the chance-constraint and the restocking-based perspectives. Once we cover the current state-of-the-art, we introduce two major methodological contributions. First, we present a branch-price-and-cut (BP&C) algorithm for the VRPSD under optimal restocking. The method, which is based on the pricing of elementary routes, compares favorably with previous algorithms and allows the solution of several open benchmark instances. Second, we develop a demand model for dealing with correlated customer demands. The central concept in this model is the “external factor”, which represents unknown covariates that affect all demands. We present a Bayesian-based, iterated learning procedure to refine our knowledge about the external factor as customer demands are revealed. This updated knowledge is then used to prescribe optimal replenishment decisions under demand correlation. Computational results demonstrate the efficiency of the new BP&C method and show that cost savings above 10% may be achieved when restocking decisions take account of demand correlation. Lastly, we motivate a few research perspectives that, as we believe, should shape future research on the VRPSD. © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
Seiten (von - bis)1081-1093
FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Operational Research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Mai 2023

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