Infoscience

Journal article

Symmetry helps: Bounded bi-directional dynamic programming for the elementary shortest path problem with resource constraints

When vehicle routing problems with additional constraints, such as capacity or time windows, are solved via column generation and branch-and-price, it is common that the pricing subproblem requires the computation of a minimum cost constrained path on a graph with costs on the arcs and prizes on the vertices. A common solution technique for this problem is dynamic programming. In this paper we illustrate how the basic dynamic programming algorithm can be improved by bounded bi-directional search and we experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of the enhancement proposed. We consider as benchmark problems the elementary shortest path problems arising as pricing subproblems in branch-and-price algorithms for the capacitated vehicle routing problem, the vehicle routing problem with distribution and collection and the capacitated vehicle routing problem with time windows.

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