Periodic VRP

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10-31-2018 04:32 AM
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New Contributor

Hi,

I'm trying to create a four week schedule for a waste collection problem but I'm not sure if I'm able to do this with ArcGis.

Here are the properites of the problem:

4 vehicles

3 depots

323 order locations

3 different materials that can't be mixed

But the tricky part is that the demand differs from every customer. The different demands are multiple times a week, once a week, every alternate week and every fourth week. Does ArcGis support this kind of problem, if not would it be possible to get around it in some way?

Any help would be highly appreciated. 

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Esri Contributor

Hello,

The VRP solver isn't designed specifically for periodic routing but you can definitely use it to solve this problem if you break it down a bit.  Since the three different materials can't be mixed at all it would be simplest to separate the orders and routes needed for this into three different problems, reducing the complexity of what you are trying to model at once.

The second thing I would do would be to separate the problem to solve it one week at a time.  Check out the video at Network Analyst: Optimize Your Fleet of Vehicles with the VRP Solver - YouTube  starting at time 13:25 is a demo that works through how to set up a problem for multiple days of the week.  

You will need to make duplicates of the orders that need to be visited multiple times in a week and assign them to days based on their requirements.  Also include all of the orders that need to be visited every week, half of the orders that need to be visited every other week and a quarter of the orders that need to be visited every fourth week.  

Your problem looks small enough that you might be able to do all four weeks in one solve and specify out all of the routes with a specific day using specialties like in the video.  Keep in mind that the solver is designed for problems with less then 2500 orders and 100 routes.  And the bigger the problem the hard it is to solve so you typically get better results when you limit the complexity and size of the problem.

After you watch the video, let me know if you have any more questions on how to set this up.

Thanks,

Heather 

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Esri Contributor

Hello,

The VRP solver isn't designed specifically for periodic routing but you can definitely use it to solve this problem if you break it down a bit.  Since the three different materials can't be mixed at all it would be simplest to separate the orders and routes needed for this into three different problems, reducing the complexity of what you are trying to model at once.

The second thing I would do would be to separate the problem to solve it one week at a time.  Check out the video at Network Analyst: Optimize Your Fleet of Vehicles with the VRP Solver - YouTube  starting at time 13:25 is a demo that works through how to set up a problem for multiple days of the week.  

You will need to make duplicates of the orders that need to be visited multiple times in a week and assign them to days based on their requirements.  Also include all of the orders that need to be visited every week, half of the orders that need to be visited every other week and a quarter of the orders that need to be visited every fourth week.  

Your problem looks small enough that you might be able to do all four weeks in one solve and specify out all of the routes with a specific day using specialties like in the video.  Keep in mind that the solver is designed for problems with less then 2500 orders and 100 routes.  And the bigger the problem the hard it is to solve so you typically get better results when you limit the complexity and size of the problem.

After you watch the video, let me know if you have any more questions on how to set this up.

Thanks,

Heather 

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New Contributor

Thank you so much for the response, Heather. I've watched the video and it was really helpful. 

Including half of the orders that need to be visited every other week and a quarter of the orders that needs to visited every fourth week manually would simplify things. I had problem with this issue since I didn't know how to deal with the different demands. But I think this solution will give a good enough solution.

Also since I have multiple depots could I create them and include them right away in the VRP solver? Or do I need to do cluster the orders first and attached them to the depots? 

Best regards,

Joakim

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Esri Contributor

Hi Joakim,

For the Depots you can include them in the problem from the beginning.  The routes at a minimum need to have either a starting or an ending depot specified.  So you will have to divvy up your trucks to the different depots.  Most of the users, that we have interacted with doing waste collection, have routes that go back to the facility to empty their trucks multiple times within their route.  If that is the case for you, look into using Route Renewals.

Thanks,

Heather