Project 203. Routing

**Principal researchers : **T.G. CRAINIC, W. REI

**Collaborators : **A. LE BOUTHILLER, M.
GENDREAU, B. GENDRON, N. JOZEFOWIEZ,L.-M. ROUSSEAU, M. TOULOUSE

**Postdoctoral fellows : **N. LAHRICHI, C. CRISAN

**Students : **I. DAYARIAN, P.N. KHANH, A.R.
VAHED, D.M. VU (Ph.D.),

M-C. HOULE (MBA-Research)

Methodologically, the problems addressed in this project are part of the category of problems concerned with tour and timetable construction, commonly known as Vehicle Routing Problems (VRP). These problems are combinatorial, generally hard, and often quite large. Heuristic solution methods are thus used in almost all cases. We are particularly interested in “rich” problems, or in other words, problems defined by a significantly larger set of characteristics (e.g., complexity of cost calculation formulas, route admissibility constraints, and great variety in the types of products, vehicles and customers) than those usually discussed in the literature. Rich problems come closer to reality than other types of problems, but they also present a considerable methodological challenge. Our research works to 1) characterize rich attributes and their possible combinations in real problems, as well as to develop appropriate solution methods, which are generally meta-heuristic; 2) model uncertainty, particularly in planning, and develop efficient solution methods; and 3) use the concept of cooperative search to develop parallel meta-heuristic solution methods that integrate the results of the other two segments of this project and thus provide a solution framework for rich vehicle routing problems.